Dear Father, U.S. President Donald Trump is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. There is much for the two leaders to talk about. The U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has indicted twelve Russian intelligence officers for hacking the emails of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the 2016 Presidential election. Democrats in the United States had demanded the cancellation of the summit. They are now demanding that Trump put pressure on Putin to extradite the twelve Russian nationals so they can be prosecuted in the U.S. However, there is no U.S. extradition treaty with Russia and Russia does not allow extradition in their constitution. Democrats are pressing Trump to continue sanctions against Russia. Trump has responded to this by blaming the Obama Administration and the DNC for not being more careful in 2016. The two will also discuss Russian annexation of Crimea. Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. The Ukrainian Revolution in 2014 moved the country politically apart from Russia. However, the people of the Ukrainian region of Crimea wanted to maintain close relations with Russia. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, much to the disapproval of world leaders. The two leaders are also going to discuss the war in Syria and the fact that Iran’s military being too close to the Israeli border. Israel wants to keep Iranian forces at least 27 miles away from their border. The ballistic and cruise missile testing and deployment ban, which was signed during the Reagan Administration, will be discussed. Russia is said to have been violating this agreement, boasting of new nuclear weapons technology. Father, meet with these two men at this summit. Be the third person in their conversation. Interject Your will into their hearts and minds. May the result of their meeting be increased international peace and stability. I ask that there will be a just and peaceful resolution to the charges of Russian interference in our elections. May they come to agreements with respect to Crimea, Syria, Iran, Israel, and nuclear missiles that not only promotes peace but also advances the work of Your church in each of these countries. Father, these two powerful men are in office only because You have put them into those positions. May they be Your servants and be agents of Your goodness, whether they realize it or not. Amen.
Dear Father, Ray Emery was an ice hockey goalie who played in the National Hockey League. He was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in 2001 and led them to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007. He played with the Philadelphia Flyers, the Anaheim Ducks, and the Chicago Blackhawks during his career. He was on the roster of the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks in 2013. He also played in Russia, Germany, and on several American Hockey League teams during his career. It has been reported that he had trouble with anger in his personal life, including charges for assaulting his ex-fiancee in 2016. He died this weekend when he drowned in the waters surrounding the Hamilton, ON yacht club. Many of his former colleagues in the NHL have expressed their grief through social media. Father, I lift up to You Ray Emery’s loved ones who grieve his death today. May they call out to You for comfort and understanding. Please be present and walk with them through their grief. May they know it and thank You for Your love. Answer their prayers in such a way that their lives are transformed. May this time to reflect on issues of life and death lead people in Ray’s world to long to have a personal relationship with You. Amen.
Dear Father, Novak Djokovic has won the 2018 Gentlemen’s Singles Championship at Wimbledon. He is a Serbian professional tennis player who has won over a dozen Grand Slam championships during his career. He is only one of three men to have ever been the champion of the Australian Open, Wimbledon, the US Open, and the French Open simultaneously. Many consider him to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He is a husband and father of two children. He has entertained many with his impersonations of other tennis players. Novak has used his success to advocate for children in Serbia. Father, You created Novak. You are the one who gave him the tennis skills that serve him so well today. You are the won who put him in such a place to help others in need. Father, lead him into a personal relationship with You. Bring a spiritual transformation into his life. May he become an ambassador for the love of Christ, touching thousands of people. As he dedicates his charity work to You, give him great success, bringing hope and opportunity to children not only in Serbia but also around the world. Amen.
Dear Father, Angelique Kerber, a native of Bremen, Germany, has won the 2018 Ladies’ Singles Championship at Wimbledon. She has also won the Australian and the US Opens during her career. Father, You have also given Angelique her tennis skills, just like You did for Novak Djokovic. You created her with love in 1988. You desire a personal relationship with her where You are her God who gives her total security and unconditional love. Father, as she celebrates her victory, give her a moment or two to consider who made it all possible for her. May she take that moment to humbly thank You for Your goodness and then ask herself how she can serve and honor You. Father, bring her into your eternal family and give her a place of ministry. May she touch thousands of lives through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in her life and through the opportunities her tennis achievements create. Amen.