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A street scene in Bogotá, Colombia. (Photo by Melissa Engle)

A street scene in Bogotá, Colombia. (Photo by Melissa Engle)

Lenten prayers from around the world - Colombia

03/04/2010

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Running Time: 5:51

These Lenten prayers are from Mennonite Brethren and Mennonite leaders in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital.

 
The strong tradition of Colombia’s Anabaptist community is that prayer comes from the heart at the time. Two Colombian pastors were gracious enough to share prayers with us via Skype from the MCC office in Bogotá. Nelson Martínez is pastor of a Mennonite Brethren church in Bogotá. Jenny Neme is director of Justapaz, the Christian Center for Justice, Peace and Nonviolent Action and a ministry of Colombia’s Mennonite Church.
 
Here are the words of the prayers in English and below in Spanish.
 
The first prayer is from Nelson Martínez, pastor of a Mennonite Brethren church in Bogotá, Colombia:
 
Lord, we want to thank you, for your work, for your way of intervening in our lives, in our world, in our culture. We give you thanks because, since the beginning of time, you have had plans for us. Lord, we remember in particular your coming to this world to save us, to give us an example to follow, to show us your love by making yourself one of us, Lord. Thank you, because this is evidence of your mercy, evidence of your purposes for a world that is lost, a world that needs your light and your path to follow. But we also know that your salvation is not limited to one historical act. Instead, it is something that is always new, always continues. Even today you are still seeking what has been lost. Even today you have the same purpose as always, helping the human beings who have wandered from you, who have turned from the truth. For this reason, Lord, we pray that you would come to us today, in a context in which ignorance of God is ever greater. We ask that you come once again. We know, Lord, that your form of coming to this world is through your children, through your church, through those of us who have known you. Therefore, we pray that you would grant us sensitivity and openness to your work in our lives, that you would allow us to bring a fresh message to this world, not only proclaiming with our words, but also reflecting your work in this world through our actions. Allow us to have a character like your son, Jesus Christ, so that we may truly be instruments in your hands to keep blessing this world that needs you, Lord. We put ourselves in your hands. We surrender ourselves in your hands, and we pray, dear God, in the name of Jesus, that you would use us. May your Holy Spirit work through our lives and in our churches, and may the world find the way, the truth, and the life, who you are and who we represent as your children, Lord. We pray these things in Jesus’ name.
 
The second prayer is from Jenny Neme, director of Justapaz, the Christian Center for Justice, Peace and Nonviolent Action and a ministry of the Colombian Mennonite Church:
 
In this season of Lent, we want to remember, Lord, that you sent your son to wash our sins away. Also, we remember your resurrection which established a new covenant with humanity. Lord, we ask for your forgiveness for the sins we have committed against this same humanity, against the environment, against all that you have created in this world, and against the values of your kingdom. Lord, I want to ask that you would wash away these sins of ours, and that you would give us new opportunities to be salt and light, to take your message and bring the good news, to denounce sin and abuse and announce that you have a promise for humanity. We ask that during this Lent season, you would help us as individuals, families and faith communities, to understand this message of salvation, this promise that seeks new men and women, new families, a better world. Lord, we also place before you the peoples who are suffering, the countries that are at war, the nations that are facing the effects of climate change, that you may have compassion on them, so there will be shouts of liberty and salvation. We pray these things in your name, knowing that your promise is a reality. Amen.
 
Here are the prayers in Spanish:
 
(Nelson Martínez, Pastor de una Iglesia Hermanos Menonitas, Bogotá, Colombia)
Señor, queremos darte gracias, por tu obra, por tu forma de intervenir en nuestras vidas, en nuestro mundo, en nuestra cultura, gracias porque has tenido planes para nosotros desde siempre Señor, y queremos recordar en una manera muy particular tu venida a este mundo Señor para salvarnos, para darnos ejemplo de vida para mostrarnos tu amor a través de hacerte como uno de nosotros Señor. Gracias por esto es una evidencia de tu misericordia, es una evidencia de tus propósitos hacia un mundo que se pierde, un mundo que necesita una luz, un camino, una senda a seguir, Señor. Pero Señor sabemos que tu intervención salvífica no se limite a un hecho histórico sino que es siempre fresca, siempre continua y que hoy tu también estás buscando lo que se ha perdido, hoy también tu estás con el próposito de ayer, al ser humano alejado de ti, de espaldas a la verdad, y por esto queremos rogarte que tu llegues hoy también Señor a nosotros, en un contexto en que la ignorancia de Dios es cada vez mayor. Queremos pedirte que vengas nuevamente. Y sabemos Señor que tu forma de venir a este mundo es a través de tus hijos, a través de tu iglesia, a través de nosotros que hemos podido conocerte. Por esto te rogamos que nos permitas una sensibilidad, una apertura, a la obra tuya en nuestras vidas. Que nos permita Señor traer un mensaje fresco a este mundo, no solo proclamándolo a través de la palabra, sino que nuestras vidas puedan reflejar que tu sigues actuando en este mundo Señor.   Permítenos tener un carácter como tu hijo Jesucristo, para que seamos realmente instrumentos en tus manos, para seguir bendiciendo a este mundo que te necesita, Señor. Nos disponemos en tus manos. Nos entregamos en tus manos, y te rogamos oh Dios en el nombre de Jesús que nos uses, que nos envíes. Que tu Espiritu Santo opere a través de nuestras vidas, en nuestras iglesias, y que el mundo pueda encontrar el camino, la verdad y la vida, que eres tu, y que nosotros representamos, Señor, como hijos tuyos. Te lo pedimos en el nombre de Jesús.
 
(Jenny Neme, Directora del Centro para la Justicia, Paz y Acción Noviolenta – Justapaz – Iglesia Menonita)
En este tiempo de quaresma, en donde recordamos Señor que enviaste a tu Hijo para limpiarnos del pecado y donde recordamos también tu resurrección para establecer un nuevo pacto con la humanidad. Señor, quiero pedir tu perdón por los pecados cometidos contra la misma humanidad, Señor, y contra el medioambiente y contra todo lo que has dispuesto en el mundo, y contra los valores de tu Reino. Señor, quiero pedirte que nos limpies de estos pecados, Señor, que nos brindes nuevas oportunidades para ser sal y luz, para coger tu mensaje y llevar las buenas nuevas, para denunciar el pecado, los atropellos, pero también anunciar que tu tienes una promesa para con la humanidad, Señor. Te pedimos en este tiempo de quaresma que nos animes como personas, como familias, como comunidades de fe a entender este mensaje de salvación, Señor. Esa promesa que quiere hombres y mujeres nuevos Señor, que quiere familias nuevas, que quiere un mundo mejor. Señor, colocamos delante de ti también el pueblo sufriente, a los países que enfrentan guerras, a los países que están enfrentando todos los efectos del cambio climático, Señor, para que tu te compadezcas Señor y para que haya gritos de libertad, Señor, y de salvación. Oramos en ti, sabiendo que tu promesa es una realidad. Amen.