Prayer points for fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone – via Christian Aid

December 4, 2014

Christian Aid (UK) is focusing its Ebola response on Sierra Leone, and they have a page of good, specific prayer points and prayers:

Prayer points for the Ebola outbreak

  • Pray that the millions being targeted with potentially life-saving advice would be receptive and that it would prevent them contracting Ebola.
  • Pray for the medical teams across the nine districts receiving disposable gloves, powdered and liquid chlorine for disinfection. Pray that they might be prevented from contracting Ebola.
  • Pray for the 900 community health volunteers conducting door-to-door awareness raising and training 9,000 more volunteers. Pray that through their work others would be prevented from contracting Ebola.
  • Pray that the widespread fear and distrust about the disease and its causes would be dispersed and that through reassurance and support many would be prevented from contracting Ebola.
  • Pray for Christian Aid partners in Sierra Leone: the Methodist Church of Sierra Leone (MCSL), Network of people living with HIV, the SEND foundation, Rehabilitation and Development Agency (RADA) and Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD). Give thanks for their witness. Pray for courage and hope for them as they reach out to communities in 10 of the country’s 14 districts, pray that through their work many would be prevented from contracting Ebola.
  • Pray for all those putting themselves at risk to treat patients. Pray for those who are the patients, for their recovery and cure or for a dignified and peaceful passing for those who do succumb to this disease.
  • Pray that the international community would make resources rapidly available to respond to the challenge of Ebola.


A prayer for the survivors

John 1. 1-14

Living word, who became flesh
through whom all have life,
thank you for your light
in the darkness of the Ebola Crisis.

Thank you for those who have overcome,
for those who have survived.
We pray for them as they return
to live among their families and communities.

We pray for the enlightenment needed
so that stigma around Ebola will not spread,
so that livelihoods and homes would not be destroyed,
so that those who survive can be a light of comfort and hope
among those who are afraid.

Thank you for your incarnation, living word,
full of the grace and truth that blesses all flesh.


A prayer for the health workers

Matthew 25: 34-46
‘I was sick and you took care of me.’

We pray for those who are taking care of you
in the body of humanity that has Ebola.

We thank you for those who have sacrificed
their own comfort and security to tend to the needs of others.

We are mindful of those medical workers who have lost their lives,
and pray that their loved ones will find comfort in your words:

‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom…
…for I was sick and you took care of me.’



There are still more prayers at the full page.


Ebola still increasing in Sierra Leone – pray!

December 4, 2014

The Ebola situation continues to get worse in Sierra Leone, which is averaging nearly 100 new cases per day throughout the country according to yesterday’s WHO report.

As our latest graph below, tracking cumulative cases in West Africa shows, total cases in Sierra Leone are likely to soon surpass the cases in Liberia, where thankfully there has been some slowing in the numbers of new cases in the past 6 weeks.

Ebola data 3 Dec 2014

The graph shows that there can be no let up in the sense of urgency about Ebola in West Africa and that much perseverance in prayer is still needed!

In the last month there have been:

  • 433 new cases of Ebola in Guinea  (avg. 14 cases per day)
  • 1110 new cases of Ebola in Liberia (avg. 40 cases per day)
  • 2553 new cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone (avg. 93 cases per day)

And yet now that there are currently no Ebola cases in the U.S. or Spain, the crisis risks getting bumped out of the headlines once again.

I found the following prayer at the Catholic Relief Services website. I love the idea of contagious compassion!  May the Lord cause our hearts to respond to this crisis with prayer, with giving and with acts of love and service n whatever form we can offer.

Jesus, healer of the sick,

Your heart was filled with compassion for the sick and suffering
and you traveled to all the towns and villages, curing every disease and illness.1

We ask that all of those infected with the Ebola virus may feel the healing power of Jesus:
Comfort for all who mourn the loss of loved ones
Protection for all those who are vulnerable
Support for all health workers who risk their own lives to care for others.

Let your compassion be more contagious than any disease or malady
so that we may generously respond as you would.


You’ll find all our Ebola Crisis prayers using this tag.


I urge you all to not only PRAY, but to GIVE and ACT as well.  The New York Times published a good list of charities on the frontlines of the battle against Ebola.  From personal experience, I have a lot of confidence in the work of Doctors Without Borders (aka MSF) and Samaritans Purse.

I may try to do some research regarding which charities are most active in Sierra Leone, so as to be able to focus specifically on alleviating the crisis in that country.  If any readers have information, please let me know.

A good Advent hymn for a family sing-a-long: Long Ago Prophets Knew

December 4, 2014

I tweeted about this hymn the other day, but did not find time to post it here at the blog. Via Patrick Comerford’s Advent 2014 Hymns for Advent series, I discovered this new-to-me Advent hymn “Long Ago Prophets Knew”

The hymn may be new to me, but the tune is one I know well – it’s the tune to the Christmas carol “On this day earth shall ring.”  So many Advent hymns are in minor keys or hard to sing.  The combination of an easy tune to sing and the rhyming lyrics, as well as the message of the words makes this hymn a very good one for Advent family devotions.

Long ago, prophets knew
Christ would come, born a Jew,
come to make all things new;
bear his people’s burden,
freely love and pardon.

Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring!
Sing, choirs, sing, sing, sing!
When he comes,
when he comes,
who will make him welcome?

God in time, God in man,
this is God’s timeless plan:
He will come, as a man,
born himself of woman,
God divinely human: Refrain

Mary, hail! Though afraid,
she believed, she obeyed.
In her womb, God is laid:
till the time expected,
nurtured and protected, Refrain

Journey ends! Where afar
Beth’lem shines, like a star,
stable door stands ajar.
unborn Son of Mary,
Saviour, do not tarry!

Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring!
Sing, choirs, sing, sing, sing!
Jesus comes!
Jesus comes!
We will make him welcome!

Here’s a recording of this hymn via YouTube:

An Advent Prayer – We bear the need of a savior on our hearts…

December 4, 2014

From today’s Advent devotional entry at the Trinity School for Ministry website

reflecting on this verse: “And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth” (Isa 2:19)

Lord we bear the need of a savior on our hearts this day. Help us to see this need not only in these days of Advent but also in the days to follow. Equip us to preach a message of liberation to the captives and hope for all who find themselves hiding in caves. Your Word is light and Your Gospel breaks into the deepest of all human sinfulness. Savior of the nations, come and dwell with us in promise and hope this Advent. Amen.

The Rev. Kris Leland Snyder (DMin Student)
Pastor, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Ackley, IA


December 4, 2014

Psalm 123:1-2 (NLT)

I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven.  We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.

O Lord God,

You are enthroned in majesty and glory in heaven.  The heavens are yours; Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Mali are yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.  You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand, high your right hand.  Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

We lift our eyes to You, O God, for Your mercy in the Ebola virus epidemic.  Amen.

Psalm 89:11-14

Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and Egypt

December 4, 2014

Romans 15:12

And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”

O Father in heaven,

Is not Your Son Jesus the door of hope for the Gentiles?  We glorify You for Your mercy.

Did He not come to the land that is now Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and Egypt?  We humbly ask, Father, that Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth, build doors of hope for the Gentiles in these lands.  Amen.

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