Prayer Cycle (25-31 August, 2013): Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
Give thanks for:
- The new life which has emerged from the ashes of communism.
- The churches, which have experienced new vitality among the people of the Baltic states.
- Krisjanis Barons, who collected more than a million dainas (Latvian folksongs) – some dating back 1,000 years.
- The Hill of Crosses near Siauliai, Lithuania, and for all the carved wooden crosses and saints which mark crossroads throughout Lithuania.
- Ancient Estonian runic chants based on lines of eight syllables with a theme gradually developing from line to line.
- Smoked fish, hearty breads, pancakes and berry pies.
- Economic improvement and stability as these countries convert their economies and experience opportunities that were not available in the past.
- Justice and strength for those who speak out against corruption and make a stand for the homeless and poor.
- The large ethnic minorities in each of these countries who have found themselves marginalized, vilified and at times attacked.
- Care and guidance for women clergy who seek ways to respond to the call of God in their lives.
- The shrinking of the gap between rich and poor, and for resources and conscience to care for those who have been left destitute in a new economic system.
- The environment that has been severely degraded by heavy industrialization and urbanization, and those who must live with the results of polluted air, soil and water.
You, O Christ, have the words of eternal life.
You are the Holy One of God,
but most Estonians don’t know you.
They don’t know to whom they can go.
Many individuals are desperate, addicted to alcohol or drugs.
Many families are broken, without love or peace.
They need you, Saviour, and so do we.
May you be seen clearly through your church
so that others may find your spirit which gives life.
Prayer text for 2007:
O Holy Spirit, flow over us as rain over parched fields
so that new life enters into the hearts of all.
Pour yourself over our land so that it blooms and bears the fruit of righteousness.
Encourage all to renew themselves in their mind and spirit!
You, Spirit of Strength, make the weak strong,
the fearful confident, the doubting faithful.
You, Spirit of Love, tie us all together with your bond of completeness
so that we live with our neighbours in peace and harmony without hate and envy.
Refresh those who are in trouble and sorrow
and make us all worthy to praise and glorify you, O God our Father,
with new hearts and tongues.