OSJ Prayers

Baghdad Bombing

A car bomb in Baghdad killed at least 281 people early Sunday morning and injured at least 300. This is the worst attack in Iraq since the U.S. invaded in 2003. The car bomb detonated near a shopping center in the mainly Shia Muslim Karada district. The area was filled with people shopping for the Eid holiday at the end of Ramadan. The Islamic State has taken responsibility for the attack.

Lord, be with the Shia community, which is most particularly affected by this bombing. Please, Lord, be with the families of all who were killed. We pray that your Spirit will be with the Iraqi people and the city of Baghdad as they deal with this extreme loss of life, are scared, and are angered by acts of terrorism. We pray for an end to violence committed throughout the world. Bring peace and stability to your people and an end to the tyranny of terror groups such as the Islamic State.

Israel, Palestine, and Water

With summer in full swing and temperatures running high in the West Bank, access to water is being withheld from Palestinians. During the month of Ramadan, the Israeli national water company, Mekorot, cut the city of Jenin’s water supply in half. Jenin is home to over 40,000 Palestinians. Mekorot has also restricted the water supplies of other villages and towns in the West Bank. Palestinians have historically been denied control over water resources since occupation in 1967 by Israel through discriminatory water-sharing agreements that prevent Palestinians from maintaining or developing water infrastructure. Palestine should have access, however, to ample water supplies through the Jordan River and the Mountain Aquifer, which are transboundary resources by international law.

O Lord, we pray for the people of Palestine and Israel. We ask that Palestinians would no longer be deprived of a basic need, the need for water. Help us to raise our voices against this injustice — especially in the summer months while people are desperately in need of water. Bring peace to this longstanding conflict, O Lord.

Funding for First Nations Children in Canada

In the 2016 federal budget, the Canadian government increased funding for the First Nations child and family services program — $635 over five years. However, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society stated yesterday that this plan still fails to fully address the inequalities between services that are provided to First Nations children on reserves and children in the rest of Canada. Because the funds are scheduled to be spread out over years, many children who need assistance are still not getting the help they need. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal had ruled in January that the federal government’s funding toward First Nations children was discriminatory and ordered changes to be made. In June, the Caring Society filed a report that states the government’s efforts have not adequately met the tribunal’s orders — more funding must still be provided.

Lord, we pray for First Nations children in Canada — children who have not been given the same level of government care or treatment as children in the rest of Canada. Move us to stand with First Nations people in Canada and to raise our voices with them — to demand an end to discriminatory services and funding. We pray also for Indigenous people all over the world who have endured severe injustices and who still experience discrimination.

The Global Food Security Act Passed!

Yesterday the Global Food Security Act, S.1252, passed the U.S. House after passing the Senate in April. It will now go to President Obama to be signed into law. This is an important legislative victory for sustainable maternal and child nutrition! Click here to see how your Representative voted. Then call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to thank your Representative if they voted in favor. You can also call and express your disappointment if your Representative voted against the Global Food Security Act.