We give thanks for:
- the diversity of peoples in these countries: their cultures, values and spirituality
- for the resilience of minority religious groups and those on the margins of society such as indigenous communities, Dalits, women, youth, the disabled and sexual minorities, amid discrimination and persecution
- for the contributions of Christians and Christian churches in these countries to education and health services and for their innovative attempts in contextualizing their worship, theology and institutional life
- efforts to forge inter-religious solidarity for the sake of the common good.
We pray for:
- those who struggle to overcome grinding poverty
- Christians and others who selflessly work in the community, their efforts at ensuring the rights of all citizens, and their collaborative work
- efforts to build understanding and harmony among peoples across religious, caste and ethnic identities
- peoples’ movements struggling for the rights of women, Dalits, Indigenous peoples, and the integrity of the earth
- leaders to keep priority on the wellbeing of the people and the earth itself amid demands for economic growth.
O Creator and Mighty God,
you have promised
strength for the weak
rest for the labourers
light for the way
grace for the trials
help from above
O Creator and Mighty God
Help us to continue in your promise.
(Pakistan: With All God’s People, comp. John Carden, WCC, 1989, p.327)
Prayer from India:
When everything around seems to be collapsing into injustice and chaos
Creator God, teach us to love you
and to recognize that you hold the earth gently in your hands.
When we do not know just what to do and where to turn,
teach us to trust your wisdom,
so that we can discern your presence in events around us.
When we become unforgiving and vindictive,
teach us to grasp your tenderness,
and forgive us for all we do wrong.
When violence, fear and hatred seem to overtake us,
teach us to receive your compassion,
and steer our lives in the ways of justice and peace.
When we think we can go it alone,
teach us to depend on your grace,
so that with patience and persistence we can transform the world.
But most of all,
teach us to appreciate your goodness,
for in you we have new life!
(Aruna Gnanadason, India, WCC coordinator for Justice, Peace and Creation)
L: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
by narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
into ever-widening thought and action
C: Into that heaven of freedom, oh Father, let my country awake.