Weekly Prayer Update

 

 

 

 

 


Thursday, April 9, 2024


 

Taiwan Earthquake

A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck just off the coast of Taiwan on April 3, the largest in at least 25 years. More than 1,000 people were injured, and at least 12 people have lost their lives. Several hundred people had to leave their homes for shelters in the immediate aftermath, and rescue workers hurried to free people trapped in buildings. At least 400 aftershocks were recorded from Wednesday morning into Thursday night. The Church of the Nazarene has had a presence in Taiwan since 1956, and leaders in the country report that no churches were damaged in the quake.

Lord, we pray for those injured in this earthquake and for the families of those who died. Comfort those who are grieving and give strength to first responders, medical staff, and those who will handle clearing damaged buildings. Encourage anyone who is struggling with the trauma of the experience with your Spirit, and allow local churches to be centers of peace and healing in times of need. Lord, hear our prayers.

Conflict Across the Globe

In Sudan, war is driving hunger to record levels, with 18 million people across the country facing acute hunger. In Darfur, Sudan, 1.7 million people are in emergency levels of hunger. The more than eight million people who have fled their homes to seek safety are particularly vulnerable. In the past two weeks, the number of newly displaced increased by about 107,800 as more people traveled away from the worst of the danger.

In Gaza, there have been approximately 108,000 fatalities and injuries since the conflict started six months ago; of those, nearly 26,000 are children. The threat of famine is imminent across the region as aid and food relief enter the conflict zone infrequently. In Israel, at least 6,400 people have been injured or killed, including 33 children.

In Ukraine, where war has been waged for more than two years, the unprecedented humanitarian crisis has displaced 3.6 million people inside Ukraine and left 14.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly in North Kivu province, a prolonged and increasingly complex conflict persists, characterized by the presence of numerous armed groups. Food insecurity plagues those impacted by the unrest. Hundreds of thousands of people have had to flee from the outskirts of Goma in recent weeks as fighting moves closer to the city. More than 7 million people are living displaced across the country.

In Haiti, since early March, 53,000 people have fled the capital city of Port-au-Prince due to an extreme uptick in violence due to political instability, joining hundreds of thousands who are seeking safety away from their homes. Health centers, schools, and other important services have been targeted in the fighting.

Lord, when faced with war and conflict, often we feel powerless to help. Help us first to seek to have a heart of compassion for people impacted by war anywhere it is found, no matter their background, religion, or culture. We pray for peace to come to these regions. We ask you to move in the hearts of all who would do harm and constrain their actions by your Holy Spirit. Give encouragement and ease of access to all who provide humanitarian and spiritual aid during times of crisis. Guide us to know how to be peacemakers in our own lives and through the actions we do have available to us. Meanwhile, we look forward to a day when all wars will cease. You are the Prince of Peace, and we ask for your peace to reign in every one of these nations. Lord, hear our prayers.

Crisis Across Southern Africa

In Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, more than 30 million people are facing the dual problems of extreme hunger and the impact of climate crises. In Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, recent heavy rain and flooding have impacted thousands of people just a few weeks after Tropical Storm Filipo struck the country.

Since January 2024, extreme climate events like drought and flooding have killed more than 130 people, destroyed millions of acres of crops, and damaged buildings and infrastructure. In all four countries, the growing hunger crisis means that people are forced to skip meals or sell belongings to survive. This year is the fourth year in a row that Malawi has declared a state of disaster and emergency due to the impacts of extreme weather events. Mozambique has experienced 20 cyclones and tropical storms since 2018. Cyclone Freddy, a long-lived and dangerous tropical storm, impacted the area in February and March of 2023, causing the deaths of 1,434 people and 7 out of 10 provinces in Zambia have been impacted by the intense drought, while at least 1 million children there are facing extreme food shortages.

The Church of the Nazarene is active in this region, with hundreds of congregations.

Lord, we pray for those in southern Africa who are thirsty, hungry, and in need of hope for their future. Where crops have died, leaving families without food or income, would you provide clear avenues for aid organizations to reach the most desperate and renewed opportunities to grow food and develop stable income? Provide comfort and strength for all who are weary and coping with the stress of instability. Protect those who flee the area to find refuge. Give us compassionate hearts for all who are in need. Lord, hear our prayers.