People across the diocese and across the world have been appalled by the kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by the Boko Haram insurgency several weeks ago. In this diocese we have a large community of Nigerians who are a central part of our Church life in every country that we serve. It is appropriate that this Sunday we join with them in prayer for the immediate release of the schoolgirls.
In the intercessions at services on Sunday, petitions can be included for:
- the safety of the kidnapped schoolchildren, that they may God’s love and care in this time of fear, and that God may comfort their families and friends and grant repose to all who may have been killed in violence perpetrated by this insurgency group.
- the Nigerian Government and the international community, that they may find effective strategies to resolve this present crisis and to address the on-going incessant killing and abduction activities of the Boko Haram group.
- leaders in Nigeria to find ways to address the religious dimension of the insurgency through dialogue with Islamic clerics to encourage faithfulness to the teaching of their faith which abhors all violence and coercion in the name of religion.
O God, we cry out to you for the lives and the freedom of the kidnapped girls in Nigeria.In their time of danger and fear, pour out your strong Spirit for them. Make a way home for them in safety. Make a way back for them to the education that will lift them up. Hold them in the knowledge that they are not captive slaves, they are not purchased brides,but they are your beloved daughters,and precious in your sight. Change the hearts and minds of their kidnappers and of all who choose violence against women and girls. Cast down the mighty from their seat, and lift up the humble and meek,through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.