Pray

You Keep Us
You keep us waiting.
You, the God of all time,
want us to wait for the right time in which to discover
who we are, where we must go,
who will be with us, and what we must do.
So, thank you…for the waiting time.
You keep us looking.
You, the God of all space,
want us to look in the right and wrong places for signs of hope,
for people who are hopeless,
for visions of a better world which will appear
among the disappointments of the world we know.
So, thank you…for the looking time.
You keep us loving.
You, the God whose name is love,
want us to be like you –
to love the loveless and the unlovely and the unlovable;
to love without jealousy or design or threat;
and, most difficult of all, to love ourselves.
So, thank you…for the loving time.
And in all this, you keep us.
through hard questions with no easy answers;
through failing where we hoped to succeed
and making an impact when we felt we were useless;
through the patience and the dreams and the love of others;
And through Jesus Christ and his Spirit, you keep us.
So, thank you…for the keeping time,
And for now,
And for ever.
Amen.

Source: Various, and in several versions, but all have their origin in the Iona (Scotland) Community, www.iona.org.uk.

Prayer for the Uninsured
Father of goodness and love,
hear our prayers for the uninsured members of our community
and for all who are in need.
For those who seek care but find that it is out of reach,
may they find consolation in your healing presence.
For all who are blessed with health and security,
may they work to fulfill the needs of those who are sick and insecure.
For leaders who make decisions
that affect the health and well-being of others,
may they strive to ensure the fundamental right to health care.
We ask this through Christ our Lord
who healed those who believed. Amen.

Bread of life  
Merciful God,
hear the cries of your people.
Hungry for bread and starved of justice;
craving sustenance,
they dream of fullness and days of plenty.
 
Jesus, bread of life,
fill all who hunger with the taste
of freedom from oppression
and the succulent aroma of hope.
Help us as we strive for justice and
try to balance the scales so long tipped in our favour.
 
God of hope,
nourish and inspire us.
Feed us and work through us,
so that all people can delight
in the richness of your banquet
and share in the bounty you intended for all.
Amen.
 
Source: © Catherine Gorman/CAFOD, www.cafod.org.uk, Sister Agency of Catholic Relief Services in England/Wales).

Beatitudes for Those Seeking Justice  
LEADER: Joyful are those who know they are helpless,
PEOPLE: For they rely on God,
And God’s eternal Commonwealth is theirs.
 
LEADER: Joyful are those who know sorrow and pain,
PEOPLE: For peace and quiet joy will be theirs;
Gentle certainty will be theirs;
And strength will come to them in abundance.
 
LEADER: Joyful are those who do not tread on others,
Those whose words and deeds are gentle,
PEOPLE: For they will be one with the new earth.
 
LEADER: Joyful are those whose hearts break,
and whose spirits groan for justice in this world,
PEOPLE: For they will see the great realm of
peace and justice,
And their quest will be accomplished,
And their dream will come true.
 
LEADER: Joyful are those who respond to others in need,
Who do not remember past wrongs,
PEOPLE: For God will forget their wrongs
And respond to their needs.
 
LEADER: Joyful are those whose hearts and minds
thirst for one thing,
And that is to walk in God’s way
And to live in God’s truth,
No matter how high the toll.
PEOPLE: For they will bask in God’s love.
 
LEADER: Joyful are those who work for peace,
PEOPLE: For they are God’s children;
God is their Father, who provides for them,
And their Mother, who nurtures them.
 
LEADER: Joyful are you who meet with hatred
because of your stand for justice,
Your reward will not be the punishment
of those who abuse you;
Instead, you will long for their redemption;
PEOPLE: Instead, your reward will be to see
the Reign of God in its completeness;
Your reward will be to see God’s justice
ruling all humanity and all creation,
And there will be no end to that era of justice.
 
LEADER: Joyful are you who endure harsh things
because of the teachings of Christ;
PEOPLE: You will know the endless government
of justice and peace,
The endless dominion of love and truth.
 
LEADER: Be comforted in this,
for all who have so spoken the truth
have been so abused.
All of you can be full of joy,
Because you have hope—
PEOPLE: The hope of God’s Commonwealth—
Where tears are wiped away,
Where pain is erased.
 
LEADER: You will be in harmony with creation
You will see the everlasting domain
of justice, mercy, peace, and truth,
PEOPLE: You will be in the presence of God.
You will look upon God’s face, and not faint.
 
LEADER: God’s eyes will smile upon you;
You will sit in God’s lap,
And feel God’s embrace.
PEOPLE: You will sit by the fire with God,
And you will rest.
 
Source: Seeds of Hope Publishers, www.seedspublishers.org.

Click here for Interfaith Prayers for Peace in the Holy Land.
Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

A Litany for Uncertain Economic Times
When God brought the Israelites out from Egypt into the wilderness, they complained that they had nothing to eat. But God gave them manna. Let us bring our prayers before God, knowing that they will be heard by the One who provides.

We thank you, gracious God, for all that you provide. In this time of economic uncertainty, give us gratitude for all that we have and freedom from worry about the things we lack.  Lord, your faithfulness is beyond all measure. Help us trust in you.

We pray for all people who have lost jobs and for those whose livelihoods are threatened, especially those supporting families through their labor.
Lord, your faithfulness is beyond all measure. Help us trust in you.

We pray for all people now facing futures dramatically different from the ones they planned. Help us meet what is yet to come with fl exibility, grace, and a certainty that our future is in your hands.
Lord, your faithfulness is beyond all measure. Help us trust in you.

We pray for all people who hunger and especially for those around the world whose lives are at risk this day because of insufficient food.
Lord, your faithfulness is beyond all measure. Help us trust in you.

We pray for all people struggling to stay in their homes and for those who have been uprooted. Help us to remember that we are truly at home in you.
Lord, your faithfulness is beyond all measure. Help us trust in you.

In this time of challenge, deliver us from the temptation to see blaming others as a solution. Give us a spirit of generosity, understanding and love.
Lord, your faithfulness is beyond all measure. Help us trust in you.

We pray for the leaders of all nations, and especially for our president and Congress, as they make decisions that affect many lives.
Guide them and help them remember hungry and poor people as they consider the path ahead.
Lord, your faithfulness is beyond all measure.  Help us trust in you.

Loving God, provider of manna, loaves and fish, and bread and wine,
Help us trust in you. Amen.

Source: Bread for the World, www.bread.org. Art: Lee Miller.

Archbishop Oscar Romero
The guarantee of one’s prayer is not in saying a lot of words.
The guarantee of one’s petition is very easy to know:
   How do I treat the poor?
      -- because that is where God is.
The degree to which you approach them,
or the scorn with which you approach them –-
    that is how you approach your God.
What you do to them, you do to God.
The way you look at them is the way you look at your God.

Source: Writings of Archbishop Romero, February 5, 1978. Archbishop Romero was martyred on March 24, 1980.

The Lord’s Prayer: An Adaptation by Jane Deren
Leader: Our God who is in heaven and in all of us here on earth; the hungry, the oppressed, the excluded.  Holy is your name.

All: May your reign come.

Leader: May your reign come and your will be done;
in our choice to struggle with the complexities of this world and
to confront greed and the desire for power in ourselves,
in our nation and in the global community.

All: May your reign come.

Leader: Give us this day our daily bread;
bread that we are called to share,
bread that you have given us abundantly
and that we must distribute fairly,
ensuring security for all.

All: May your reign come.

Leader: Forgive us our trespasses;
times we have turned away from the struggles
of other people and countries,
times we have thought only of our own security.

All: May your reign come.

Leader: Lead us not into temptation;
the temptation to close our minds, ears, and eyes
to the unfair global systems that create larger and larger gaps
between the rich and the poor;
the temptation to think it is too difficult to bring about
more just alternatives.

All: May your reign come.

Deliver us from evil;
the evil of a world where violence happens in your name,
where wealth for a few is more important than economic rights for all,
where gates and barriers between people
are so hard to bring down.

All: May your reign come.

May your reign come, for yours is the kingdom,
the power and the glory forever and ever.  Amen.

Source: Center of Concern, www.educationforjustice.org.