Prayers for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
November 14, 2010
Holy God, we come before You to pray and remember our brothers and sisters who have no home, no shelter, no bed, and no safe place to lay their head. Their lives have been turned inside out for a number of reasons—loss of job, sickness, domestic violence, mental illness and the list goes on.
Help us to be more aware of the immense pain and suffering they endure and move our hearts to respond to their plight. Create in us a heart space for mutual respect, recognizing that all gifts are from You, our Provident God and need to be shared among the many, not only the few.
Help us to dream a new reality where all are welcomed, cared for, and loved. May we live and act in the belief that we are one sacred community. Amen.
~ Barbara McMullen, CDP
November 15, 2010
“A total of 43.6 million people lived in poverty last year, up from 39.8 million in 2008 – the third Please pray for the homelessconsecutive annual increase.”
O Lord, so often poverty leads to persons and families to live on the edge, day by day, even forcing some of them into living without a home to call their own. Through our involvement with Room at the Inn and the opportunity to meet and greet them as our special guests, give us sensitivity, compassion, understanding, and a willingness to lift up such persons, calling them by name, and seeking to affirm them in their present context, and use us to give also to them a sense of hope.
“Child poverty passed the 20% threshold for the first time since 1996, fueled by a large gain among white children.”
O Lord, bless the children, for they are yours. You love them and call them by name, and you admonish anyone who would avoid them or their needs. Protect them from evil and all harm, and give to them shelter and love. Empower those involved with Room at the Inn with sensitivity, patience, and care for all, including the children and their mothers.
“Hispanics are increasingly becoming the face of child poverty, overtaking the number of black kids in 2002 and the number of poor white kids in 2007.”
O Lord, bless those who speak the language understood by Hispanics and African-Americans and so are able to tell them with their lips and show them with their hearts your love in Jesus. Enable us to see poverty not through statistics or studies, but through the faces of those who are homeless. Thank you for giving us the challenge and opportunity to see in the faces of those whom we serve your face. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
~ Rev. Steve Albers, Pastor of Glendale Lutheran Church
(* STATISTICS are from an article in USATODAY.com dated 9/16/2010)
November 16, 2010
Today we pray for the thousands of people in our country who are without a place to call home. You know the desperation of mothers and fathers who have no safe place for their children and for themselves.
We remember the individuals who are challenged with illnesses of every kind and yet, who have to rely upon the largess of communities, too many of whom find it far too easy to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to these persons. The resources for homeless people have are never enough.
We pray for the individuals, the churches and ministries and the other organizations who have cared enough to be sensitive to the plight of those without homes and who are doing something about it. Grant them wisdom, enough resources of every kind, and the courage to persevere. We pray these things in the name of the Savior who never stops caring.
Thanks be to God.
~ Rev. Michele Sue Shumake-Keller, Pastor
First United Methodist Church of Webster Groves
November 17, 2010
Creative and loving God, call me to awareness today.
Open my eyes to those in our community who have no place to lay their heads.
Open my heart to the women, men, and children who struggle to maintain their families even as they search for a safe place to sleep.
Open my hands to those who long for a warm welcome, a hot meal, and a night’s rest.
Remind me that your hand reaches to your beloved creation through my hands and the hands of my neighbors, when we extend them in faith.
As the nights lengthen and the temperatures drop, O God, I pray for the dozens of houses of prayer and worship that open their doors to the homeless through the Room at the Inn program. Invigorate these hosts as they prepare meals, provide transportation, welcome guests, make beds, hear and tell stories, and share love. Strengthen those who receive this hospitality. Make them aware of your presence and your grace. Remind them that they are created in your image, precious, and sacred. In sharing resources and time together and welcoming one another, guests and hosts become mutual givers and receivers of your love.
Thank you, Holy One, for your abundant grace, your persistent call, and your generous spirit.
~ Rev. Dr. Jeff Moore, Pastor
Webster Groves Christian Church
November 18, 2010
God of mercy and grace, we acknowledge your blessing of abundant wealth and resources upon this nation in which we live. In our nation of plenty, let us not forget the ever present fact that there are those who dwell among us who lack the basic necessities of food and shelter.
I pray for a revival in our hearts to have such compassion on the less fortunate that would invoke an assault on hunger and homelessness that will never stop until we all can share in the resources made possible by you oh God.
Until we all focus on hunger and homelessness as crisis and a priority, I pray that you continue to provide for the less fortunate as well as continue to prick our hearts with their plight.
Forgive us for only acknowledging our neighbors as those who look, act, dress and live as we do and expand our definition to include all the oppressed, marginalized and downtrodden of society. Let us all live out the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves pledging to eradicate hunger and homelessness.
It is in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ we pray. AMEN.
~ Rev. Cedric Portis, Pastor
Third Presbyterian Church
November 19, 2010
Gracious God of our Homeless Savior,
There are times in our lives when we, or those around us, struggle with the simple needs of life. Help us understand the words “Give us this day our daily bread,” is not my daily bread alone or your daily bread alone, but truly ours.
Help us as the Church to fully understand that we are heirs to the calling of the first disciples. A calling for justice, for compassion, for the caring of the poor and needy, for feeding the hungry and for sheltering those who are homeless.
This is who we are called to be: every-day disciples of our Lord Jesus who said of Himself, He had “no place to lay His head.”
O God, warm the cold places of our hearts. Fill the empty chambers of our spirits. Heal the brokenness in our lives so that we will work for all to have daily bread and a warm place to lay their heads in peace.
In the name of our giving Savior. Amen.
~ Rev. Mauri Peaco
St. Peter’s Evangelical United Church of Christ
November 20, 2010
A Prayer of Compassion and Unity
God of the Universe, Creator of All:
We seek Your presence in our lives at this and every moment.
Fill us with reverence for You and all creatures.
Teach us to be compassionate towards every living thing, and to reach out with empathy to those who struggle and are vulnerable and in need.
Teach us empathy, to understand the needs of others, to feel the pain of others, and lead us to action that will bring wholeness and healing to all.
Lead us to action; teach us to extend our hands to the needy, to open our lives to others, to feed those who are hungry, to seek to bring healing to the sick, to free those who are captive to forces beyond their control, to help clothe those who lack sufficient clothing, and to bring those who are homeless into safety and shelter.
Enable us to be grateful for the bountiful blessings of our own lives, and to share what we have with those who have less. Teach us to be satisfied with our lot, and to know when enough is enough, and lead us to share until there is nothing left to share.
God of all, be present to us all, and help us to see each of your creatures as a part of You and a part of us. For we are one, as You are One. Blessed are You, God, the maker of wholeness and peace.
-Rabbi Jim Bennett, Congregation Shaare Emeth