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Calling the Faithful

In hopes of raising awareness about the reality of genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, Sam writes every Monday about a key issue in an attempt to stop the atrocity. Doing so may not bring about a wave of change, but it is a small ripple that represents the tide that needs turning.

This coming weekend is the National Weekend of Prayer and Reflection for Darfur. On the weekend of July 15-17, congregations across America will be learning about the situation in Darfur, praying for the victims of violence, and taking action on their behalf.

There are many things you and your community can do. Savedarfur.org/faith has many suggestions, including communal prayers for a variety of faiths. Some of the greatest strides towards ending the conflict have been made by religious groups. This weekend is monumental in ending the genocide, as individuals can turn inward and seek direction from their God to act outwardly.

In listening to a session from the Emergent Convention this weekend, I heard Phyllis Tickle say, “Prayer works. We don’t know how it works, but we know that when people pray to whomever they may pray, something happens.”

I believe that as people pray, they begin to look for results from their supplication, and they begin to actively work to produce those results. They believe in the intervention of a higher power, but not a higher power that works alone. Excitedly, they work together with brothers and sisters to actively bring about the peace for which they beg God. And Phyllis is right: something happens when people pray.

A Prayer for Overcoming Indifference
by: Naomi Levy
I watch the news, God. I observe it all from a comfortable distance.
I see people suffering, and I don’t lift a finger to help them.
I condemn injustice but I do nothing to fight against it.
I am pained by the faces of starving children, but I am not moved enough to try to save them.
I step over homeless people in the street, I walk past outstretched hands,
I avert my eyes, I close my heart.
Forgive me, God, for remaining aloof while others are in need of my assistance.
Wake me up, God; ignite my passion, fill me with outrage.
Remind me that I am responsible for Your world.
Don’t allow me to stand idly by.
Inspire me to act.
Teach me to believe that I can repair some corner of this world.
When I despair, fill me with hope.
When I doubt my strength, fill me with faith.
When I am weary, renew my spirit.
When I lose direction, show me the way back to meaning, back to compassion, back to You.

“Calling the Faithful”