Warm greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from the WCRC offices in Hannover.
On this Ash Wednesday, as we enter the season of Lent, it is my prayer that our reflections and meditations this season will renew us in every way so that we can walk closer to our Lord Jesus Christ and be more effective in the mission to which we have been called.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19: 14)
We enter this season at a time of many troubling developments for which I would like to request your prayers. These developments affect our sisters and brothers in a number of communities. This Lent season, we request specific prayers for people in the following contexts, the situations they find themselves in, and for all who are in decision making roles concerning these contexts.
- Syria — I have just returned from Lebanon and was touched by how complex and deep the problems are. Let us pray for the churches and peoples of Lebanon and Syria.
- South Sudan — There are new worrisome faces of the problem around which we keep calling for prayers. The latest we have heard describes a very desperate situation in which around 40,000 people are fleeing their lands on foot without sufficient food or medicine, and the Presbyterian compound in Malakal being deserted.
- Venezuela — For peace and a good way forward, which will ensure that all experience good governance, justice for all, and the preservation of good quality of life for all.
- Ukraine — That all sides (including external forces) will calm down and let the people of Ukraine find a way forward that is good for them and not what is the interest of foreign powers on whichever side.
- Weather-related challenges in the United Kingdom, the USA and other places where people had to experience extreme weather conditions this season.
- Malaysia — as Christian communities get harassed for their choice of what word they use for God in their own contexts.
- Thailand — as they deal with uncertainties in government.
- Central African Republic — with the violence that is also linked with the use of religious sentiments.
- Nigeria — with the Boko Haram phenomenon still wreaking havoc.
- The challenges that face your church in your context.
This constitutes just a few examples of the many places that we all need to be praying for. In addition, we have all the contexts in the world in which injustice continues to be a major problem. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Accra Confession. The vicious forces of death and injustice which the Accra Confession exposes continue to be with us. This Lent season, let us reflect on what God is calling us to do vis-à-vis economic and climate injustice, and pray that God will give us the wisdom to engage in life-giving actions. The Accra Confession in this 10th anniversary remains a major resource. We have attached it here for you to share with your congregations for reflection in this Lent season.
I will be very grateful if you can distribute this Lent letter widely in your church.
May God bless you as we reflect on God’s gift to us and renew our commitment to God through this season of Lent.
Rev. Dr. Setri Nyomi
WCRC General Secretary