Défap [Protestant Mission Service] has prepared liturgical materials for the churches who would like to relay the appeals launched for the Central African Republic (CAR). Here is one, “Prayer in Two Voices,” that links the prayer of the Christians in France with one of a Central African Christian.
Lord, we come into your presence to pray and glorify your name. You are the God of the Universe and no suffering that comes to the men and women of our people is hidden from your eyes.
In this violence which devastates the Central African Republic, you Lord, God of the Passion, God who, through Jesus Christ calls for pardon, for reconciliation, and a life that is always being renewed. We put into your hands the men and women of goodwill who in the heart of this torment, work for peace. We also put into your hand those who are stuck in the spiral of hate, vengeance, and destruction.
Lord, give us the wisdom to understand your will as we are too often misled by pronouncements and policies of those who lead us. Lord, teach us to pray for our authorities so that they may be virtuous, concerned for public good, respectful of the law and that they can do your will.
You see, Lord, the agony and feelings of helplessness of the Central Africans. You are our hope, God of Peace. We pray to you for the Central African people. May your powerful hand guide this people to the exit of the “valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4) We also pray for the Churches, their leaders, and each of their members; encourage them, fortify them, and give them the momentum that brings them kindness and solidarity with others.
Lord, change our hearts, change our outlook, permit us to see beyond the current situation, and to dare to put in place the pardon, reconciliation, and peace that you promise.
We pray for the organizations charged with bring emergency aid to the population. But beyond material support, we ask that throughout the whole country, men and women who promote dialogue, peacemakers, and conflict mediators emerge. That, during the worry for justice and reparation, the country may be rebuilt. Give our European Churches wide open hearts to hear the distress and cries of our brothers and sisters in Central Africa.
Lord, you, who rebuilds that which has been destroyed, who replants that which was pulled out (Ezekiel 36:36) send your benediction to the people of the Central African Republic.
The first Sunday in Lent, March 9, has been designated “United in Prayer with C.A.R.” The congregations of the Western North Dakota Synod and Eastern ND Synod also serve as companion synod partners to the EELRCA, and they too will be joining us.
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer
Michael Rinehart, bishop