Pray for Australia, Puerto Rico and the Middle East

Pray for Australia, Puerto Rico and the Middle East

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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Dear Editor,

“Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.” — II Thessalonians 3: 16
The Jamaica Council of Churches commends prayer for the Government and people of Australia and Puerto Rico as well as for peace in the Middle East generally, and tensions between the USA and Iran in particular.

For weeks the authorities in Australia have been battling wildfires that have destroyed thousands of humans, animal and plant life and widespread property damages continue. Thoughts of global warming are not far from the minds of some, while for others it's the ravages of nature and the unfolding of its power over human creativity. Our prayers go out to families that are immediately affected, and we commend those who have been responding tangible and otherwise.

We commend support for the Government and people of Puerto Rico as they recover from the aftermath of a series of shocks consequent upon the recent earthquakes. Reports suggest there are widespread damages to property and infrastructure, and there remains much anxiety around the effects of aftershocks. The council is especially mindful of infrastructure damages to churches and other religious institutions and stands ready to offer its support in the process of rebuilding.

An air of uncertainty hangs over this Caribbean territory and is a reminder that the region remains vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricane, volcanoes and earthquakes. Natural disasters are reminders that “the earth is the LORD'S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein”. (Psalm 24:1)
No nation, community or individual is at peace, whether from human or natural disasters, until the peace of God is fully recognised as reigning supreme in the entire world.

This peace is at work despite tensions between the United States and Iran. War is never a long-term solution to any conflict hence the council is in full support of the statement by our colleagues in the World Council of Churches (WCC), which calls for a de-escalation of tensions between the two world powers.

Peace is not just the absence of conflict but a commitment on the part of individuals, communities and nations to work together for the common good. It is this peace that is commended by the writer of II Thessalonians 3:16. Peace is a gift and a task.

The gift is from God and is available to all people and the task is for all people of goodwill to pray and act in ways that will bring hope, especially to those who are anxious and afraid, and support to those who make every effort to avoid war at all cost.

Rev Newton Dixon
Jamaica Council of Churches

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