Newspaper Prayers: Friday, March 2nd

The Headlines from the New York Times for Friday, March 2, 2018

I Saw a Genocide in Slow Motion (An Excerpt of an Editorial by Nicholas Kristof) 

Sono Wara spent the day crying. And even after her tear ducts emptied, her shirt was still wet from leaking milk.

Her newborn twins had died the previous day, and she squatted in her grass-roof hut, shattered by pain and grief. She is 18 and this was her first pregnancy, but as a member of the Rohingya ethnic minority she could not get a doctor’s help. So after a difficult delivery, her twins lie buried in the ground.

Sometimes Myanmar uses guns and machetes for ethnic cleansing, and that’s how Sono Wara earlier lost her mother and sister. But it also kills more subtly and secretly by regularly denying medical care and blocking humanitarian aid to Rohingya, and that’s why her twins are gone.

Myanmar and its Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, are trying to make the Rohingya’s lives unlivable, while keeping out witnesses. Some 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in recent months, but the fate of those left behind has been less clear, for Myanmar mostly bans foreigners from Rohingya areas. The government fired a warning flare when it arrested two Reuters journalists for reporting on an army massacre of Rohingya; the reporters face up to 14 years in prison for committing superb journalism.

Entering Myanmar on a tourist visa, I was able to slip undetected into five Rohingya villages. What I found was a slow-motion genocide. The massacres and machete attacks of last August are over for now, but Rohingya remain confined to their villages — and to a huge concentration camp — and are systematically denied most education and medical care.

Readings about Peace for Friday, March 2, 2018

Isaiah 11.1-2 – A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11.6 -The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.

Isaiah 11.9 – They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

The above verses are a selection from what is called the “vision of the peaceable kingdom.” Christians should long for the knowledge of the Lord to cover the earth, just as the ocean is completely saturated with water.

Jesus perfectly fulfilled the first two verses. Join me in praying for our earth leaders to embody these character traits, too. As they do, we will come closer to living in God’s peaceable kingdom.

Prayers for Friday, March 2, 2018

Dear God, please grant world leaders your wisdom and understanding.

Bob Spradlingplant-light-1-of-1

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