Newspaper Prayers: Friday, April 21st

Headlines from the New York Times for Friday, April 21, 2017

One Country’s War Changed the World – The world seems awash in chaos and uncertainty, perhaps more so than at any point since the end of the Cold War.

Authoritarian-leaning leaders are on the rise, and liberal democracy itself seems under siege. The post-World War II order is fraying as fighting spills across borders and international institutions — built, at least in theory, to act as brakes on wanton slaughter — fail to provide solutions. Populist movements on both sides of the Atlantic are not just riding anti-establishment anger, but stoking fears of a religious “other,” this time Muslims.

Now in its seventh year, this war allowed to rage for so long, killing 400,000 Syrians and plunging millions more into misery, has sent shock waves around the world. Millions have fled to neighboring countries, some pushing on to Europe.

The refugee crisis has posed one of the biggest challenges in memory to the cohesion of the European Union and some of its core values: freedom of movement, common borders, pluralism. It heightened anxieties over identity and culture, feeding off economic insecurity and mistrust of governing elites that grew over decades with globalization and financial crises.

Mr. Saleh, the Syrian dissident, worries that “the Syrianization of the world” could get darker still. He compares today’s populism and Islamophobia to the mix of fascism and anti-Semitism in World War II.

Readings from Isaiah 44.21-22 for Friday, April 21, 2017

Why should we return to God? He is our creator and we are his servant. He removes our guilt and shame. He sets us free from slavery to our destructive thinking and behavior. As we pray, let’s return with our whole heart to God and ask that for people everywhere.

Isaiah 44.21-22 – “Remember these things, O Jacob, And Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant, O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me. “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”

Prayers for Friday, April 21, 2017

Dear God, you say to us “return to me and I will return to you.” Please help us to return with our whole heart to you.

Bob Spradlingrose-quote

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