PCUSA General Assembly Leaders Offer Prayer for Syrian People

(Photo Credit: David Manyua/United Nations)Smoke billows skyward as homes and buildings are shelled in the city of Homs, Syria on June 9, 2012.

Leaders of the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s upcoming General Assembly offered a renewed call to prayer and action for the people of Syria on Wednesday as armed battles between the Assad regime and armed opposition groups continues.

Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly and Linda Valentine, Executive Director of the General Assembly Mission Council noted in a joint statement that the international community currently disagrees on how to stop the violence and a UN observers mission was halted due to attacks.

"As believers in Jesus Christ, who declare that our God is 'able to find a way when there is no way,' we must go to God in prayer on behalf of all who are suffering and ask for wisdom as to how we might provide comfort and support," the wrote.

They issued the following prayer:
"Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace,
as you appeared to Paul
on the road to Damascus,
shine forth in these dark days
to show us your way of peace. Put an end to violence
and murderous threats.
Fill every heart with the Spirit of peace; in your holy name we pray. (Acts 9)

They called for prayers for all the parties involved including victims of violence, their perpetrators and members of the international community who are seeking ways to support a peaceable outcome.

They also called for prayers for Christians in Syria, especially partners of the Church.

A background piece (here) created by the Church gives more information about the conflict.

A PC (USA) initiative called One Great Hour of Sharing offering with the giving account DR000081 - Middle East/Syria provides funds used to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced families and others impacted by the crisis.

Parsons and Valentine also said concerned people can contact the U.S. government to support "a mediated process of cessation of violence by all perpetrators, including the Assad regime and armed opposition groups, to call for all outside parties to cease all forms of intervention in Syria, and to refrain from any military intervention in Syria, which we understand, in this case, will be certain to result in more loss of lives and lead to adverse outcome to the Syrian people and the region."

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