Newspaper Prayers: Wednesday, March 29th

Headlines from the New York Times for Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Drought and War Heighten Threat of Not Just 1 Famine, but 4 – First the trees dried up and cracked apart.

Then the goats keeled over.

Then the water in the village well began to disappear, turning cloudy, then red, then slime-green, but the villagers kept drinking it. That was all they had.

Now on a hot, flat, stony plateau outside Baidoa, thousands of people pack into destitute camps, many clutching their stomachs, some defecating in the open, others already dead from a cholera epidemic.

“Even if you can get food, there is no water,” said one mother, Sangabo Moalin, who held her head with a left hand as thin as a leaf and spoke of her body “burning.”

Another famine is about to tighten its grip on Somalia. And it’s not the only crisis that aid agencies are scrambling to address. For the first time since anyone can remember, there is a very real possibility of four famines — in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen — breaking out at once, endangering more than 20 million lives.

Readings from Isaiah 33.14-16 for Wednesday, March 29, 2017

There is always a danger of treating God like a super hero or just a larger and stronger version of a human being. Isaiah does not make that mistake. God is a consuming fire and human beings cannot live in his presence, except by God’s grace. As we genuinely encounter God, that relationship will make us more ethical in our behavior.

As we humbly trust God’s direction, he will transform us and be for us a refuge.

Isaiah 33.14b-16b – “Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?” He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity, He who rejects unjust gain And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; He will dwell on the heights, His refuge will be the impregnable rock.

Prayers for Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dear God, we are what we give out. Please bless the world with leaders who give righteousness, sincerity, and integrity to those they lead. Show your grace to the people of Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen.

Bob Spradlingrose-quote

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