The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, associate director of advocacy for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, have issued a Call to Prayer for Haiti following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and the shooting of his wife, Martine Moïse, on Wednesday.
The people of Haiti remain frightened a day after President Moïse’s assassination.
They fear that the already unstable nation will crumble beneath more violence, a power struggle, limited health care and even greater hunger.
Because Moïse had ruled by decree for 19 months, this week’s change in prime ministers and last week’s death from COVID-19 of the Supreme Court’s chief justice, there is no clear path of succession.
The country’s prime minister who was about to step down, Claude Joseph, has assumed power and declared a “state of siege.” Borders and airports are closed. Elements of the state of siege likely will further impair the ability of the Haitian people to find food, clean water and health care.
With a population less than 12 million, 4 million people in Haiti already suffer from severe food insecurity.
A surge of COVID-19 that began in May continues, and hospitals and medical care already limited by criminal activity will be further limited, leading to more infections and deaths.
Please continue praying for peace in this small country that has known so much suffering over the past few years.
Pray for calm and order so that food, clean water and medical care are available to the people.
Pray for wisdom among those vying for power during this time.
Your children in Haiti have known so much pain and anxiety, and this news tightens throats and brings more fear.
Be with the family of President Jovenel Moïse, slain in his home early July 7, and First Lady Martine Moïse, who remains hospitalized with injuries. May his soul be at rest and her recovery swift.
This violence is an ominous sign of more unrest for an already volatile island nation.
How long, O Lord?
Even as most people in Haiti are living hand-to-mouth, they are left with more confusion.
What does this mean? they ask. Who will fill this power vacuum? What more trouble will come?
Accustomed to so many storms, Haiti is in the eye of the hurricane of violence. They wait with caution, too afraid to leave their homes, even to find their daily bread.
They are hungry for so much more than bread.
We ask you, O Lord, to bring long awaited peace to your people there.
Be with each and every one, whispering encouragement to draw on their deep faith in you.
They walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and though they fear, they know you are with them.
Your rod and your staff comfort them.
They depend upon you, O Lord.
Give wisdom to leaders to care for the weak and ill,
to lift up the poor and powerless,
to seek justice for all.
Make room in the hearts of those with power to seek your wisdom in all their actions.
And above all, hold each of your children in the palm of your hand.
We pray all of this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ.