Newspaper Prayers: Thursday, February 1st

Headlines from the New York Times for Thursday, February 1, 2018

As Strongmen Steamroll Their Opponents, Trump is Silent

When it comes to securing a second term in power, Egypt’s president is leaving little to chance.

Potential rivals in the March election have been sidelined, jailed or threatened with prosecution. The news media is largely in his pocket. On polling day, Egyptians will have a choice between President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and one of his most ardent supporters — an obscure politician drafted at the 11th hour to avoid the embarrassment of a one-horse race.

In Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled the country for 33 years, has led a sweeping crackdown on opponents before elections this summer. In November, Mr. Trump flashed a big thumbs-up as he posed for a photo with Mr. Hun Sen, who later praised the American president for what he called his lack of interest in human rights.

In Honduras, President Juan Orlando Hernández was inaugurated for a second term on Saturday amid uproar from opposition figures who accused him of rigging the vote, and despite calls for a new election from the Organization of American States. Washington ignored the O.A.S. findings, with the American chargé d’affaires offering only tepid statements calling on all sides to behave peacefully.

And the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, who once was forced to surrender power for four years to respect his Constitution, has barred the main opposition challenger in the March election, virtually assuring that he will win a fourth term. Mr. Trump has repeatedly expressed his desires for closer ties with Mr. Putin.

Despite decades of lofty American talk of democracy and human rights, espoused by every president since Jimmy Carter, policies have prioritized security and strategic considerations over principle. And the C.I.A. torture program after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks further undermined America’s standing.

(The above are excerpts from the New York Times.)

Readings from Proverbs for Thursday, February 1, 2018

Proverbs 12.20 – Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil, but those who counsel peace have joy.

According to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, deceit is “the act of causing someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid.” Instead of deceit, the proverb advises us to pursue words of peace with others.

The payoff for those who counsel peace is joy. Joy is different from happiness. Something good happens to us and we are are happy. Joy is a peace like a calm in the midst of a storm. Joy is a serenity and a centered feeling, knowing that we are being led by God’s Spirit.

Prayers for Thursday, February 1, 2018

Dear God, we ask that you conquer our hearts and help us on the path to peace.

Bob Spradlingrose-quote

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