OSJ Prayers

Dakota Access Pipeline

North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux went to Washington, D.C., this week in the growing fight against a major pipeline project. The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,170-mile pipeline that would deliver up to 570,000 barrels of oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois. The indigenous group is voicing concerns that regulators did not take enough time to assess the impact the pipeline would have on cultural sites and ancestral land as well as the effects of a spill along its route. In particular, the pipeline could endanger drinking water sources near the group’s North Dakota reservation. A Federal District Court judge is set to rule on the issue by Sept. 9.

God, we pray that the voices of the Standing Rock Sioux will be honored. We pray for the judge who will rule on this case—for wisdom, for courage, for justice to be done. We pray for elected officials who today continue a long tradition of violating treaties that have been established with Native Americans in the U.S. — bring change, Lord. We pray for continued courage, energy, and creativity for the Standing Rock Sioux as they demand to be treated with the dignity they deserve.

United States Reaches Resettlement Goal

On Monday, the United States officially resettled 10,000 Syrian refugees, reaching its goal for fiscal year 2016. Over the first eight months of the fiscal year, the United States resettled fewer than 3,000 Syrian refugees, but in the past three months, it resettled 7,000. By comparison, Canada has successfully welcomed more than 30,000 Syrian refugees in the past year. This achievement comes just before the U.S. hosts a United Nations Refugee Summit to bring countries together to discuss an improved international response to the current refugee crisis. This summit will take place Monday, Sept. 19, in New York City.

For the thousands of people who now call the U.S. home, we lift our prayers. Lord, help your church to be the first to extend hospitality, expecting to experience your presence through the gift of the stranger. We pray for leaders as they meet to consider ways in which nations can go further to address a crisis that is not going away. For the millions of people who cannot start over, for the millions who aren’t able to escape, for the millions who are safe but still suffering, we offer our prayers.

El Camino del Inmigrante

The Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) concluded a 150-mile walking pilgrimage this week that highlighted the United States’ broken immigration system. The El Camino del Inmigrante was a 10-day walk from Tijuana, Mexico, to the CCDA National Conference in Los Angeles, Calif. To advocate for just immigration reform, hundreds of community and faith leaders from all over the U.S. joined the walk in solidarity with immigrant brothers and sisters who make the dangerous pilgrimage to the U.S. on their own.

God, for the many migrants who attempt the dangerous journey from their homes to a safer place, we lift our fervent prayers. We pray that the El Camino del Inmigrante event will spark a crucial conversation in the U.S. about the nation’s ineffective immigration policies. We pray for immigrants who live in the shadows of the U.S.; bring hope, Lord, through a renewed commitment to creating policies that are smart and effective and that honor the dignity of people.

Displaced in Nigeria

According to Doctors Without Borders, malnutrition is at a catastrophic level in northeastern Nigeria. Many of these people are displacedthey have been driven out of their homes by Boko Haram and are now living in informal settlements. While Boko Haram has since been chased from the region, the effects of its destruction continue. Noting limited food and medical care within the informal settlements, Doctors Without Borders calls for a major emergency response to the growing issue of malnutrition, which is disproportionately affecting children.

We join in the desperate prayers of mothers and fathers in Nigeria who are watching their children suffer — and who suffer themselves — without food or medicine. Come, Lord Jesus. We pray that a response will come quickly so that lives will be saved, and we pray for an end to the terrorism that has caused this displacement of people.

Ecumenical Day of Prayer for Creation

September 1 is the Ecumenical Day of Prayer for Creation! Join Christians around the world from all traditions in prayer for God’s creation and for our stewardship of this incredible gift. Click the photo for more resources!

Help Tell the CRC’s Story of Hospitality

The Christian Reformed Church has a long history of hospitality, sacrificial welcome, and creating a place of refuge. We want to tell that story. If your church has been involved in sponsoring, assisting, or befriending refugees, you can be part of speaking up for refugees. Will you share with us how you have been blessed by welcoming a refugee family or by being welcomed into a new community? Send a picture of your church’s refugee work to, along with a sentence or two describing the blessing of the experience, or tag the CRC Office of Social Justice and the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue in a photo you post on Facebook.