Eight prayers/reflections for the Millennium Development Goals
Here are eight prayers/reflections that we use at the Prayer cafe (as prayer cards) … one for each goal …
Imagine what it would be like to have no food.
None at all.
Not even a stray tin of something unlabelled at the back of the cupboard.
Nothing to eat.
Imagine what it would be like to have nowhere to shop for food.
The shelves are empty
The stores are shut
The fields are bare
The land is dry
There is nothing.
Your children cry
And you cannot give them any comfort.
No promise of ‘soon’ or ‘it won’t be long now’.
Give thanks to God that this isn’t you
And lift up to the millions for whom it is fact every day.
Pray for the hungry
For the thirsty
For the poor
Pray for the homeless
For the naked
For the hopeless
Pray for an end to poverty.
Give thanks to God for your days of learning.
Give thanks to God for minds saturated with new facts.
Give thanks to God for the excitement of discovery.
Give thanks to God for those who have taught you.
Give thanks to God
Bring before God
Those who long to learn
Long to understand
Long to be challenged
Long for a future.
Bring before God those who long to teach but are frustrated by lack of resources and lack of opportunity.
Lord you gave us minds for learning
Give us the will and the vision to give all children the chance of education.
In Christ there is
No black or white…
No rich or poor…
No free or slave …
No man or woman….
In Christ we are all one.
We believe this …
And yet we allow people to be treated differently
because of what God made them to be.
We deny education
We deny representation
We deny work and means
We deny freedom
We deny status.
Lord, our Mother and our Father
Christ our Brother and our Sister
Holy Spirit free yet united
Help us to end this imbalance.
Help us to work together with you and with all people
to make this world fair.
Imagine holding you child for the first moment and feeling that rush of passion and hope and protectiveness.
Imagine your aspirations for this baby’s future
Your longings for a life of joy and comfort.
About 245 babies are born every 60 seconds
Of those that survive birth and their first day a further 20 will die before they reach their fifth birthday.
Who loves life and birth and newness
Hear our prayer for the parents who lose their little ones
Hear our prayer for the communities that lose their future
Hear our prayer for the children who die because their basic needs are not met.
Help us to focus on working to give them what they need:
Food, fresh water, medicine, shelter,
So that they may grow and live and reach their God-given potential.
After months of waiting the time has come …
Months of expecting
Watching the swelling of belly and breasts.
Now, the time has come.
This is not called labour for nothing.
And this labour is as hard whether you are a novice or an old hand.
This labour does not care if you are only a girl.
This labour does not care if you have friends to keep you company or if you are all alone.
This is hard labour.
This pain will last and go on until you think you can take no more.
This pushing and heaving will take every piece of energy you have and still demand.
You will reach a point when you do not know if you can survive.
Some do … and some do not.
Those that do are sometimes rewarded with a new and bloody life to cherish … sometimes that is the reward…
In some parts of the world 1 in 12 women die during childbirth.
If you are 15 years old and live in Niger your chances of death are 1 in 7.
For every woman that dies during childbirth another 20 are severely injured or disabled.
In many parts of Africa half of all babies that die do so at birth or on the day of birth.
What are you waiting for?
Jesus who touched a leper
Jesus who ate with outcasts
Jesus who defied laws and customs to touch Lazarus and bring him back
Jesus who loved the unlovable
Jesus who smiled at the unwanted
Jesus who healed to hopeless
Be with us today as we face our own prejudices and fears
Be with us as we struggle to reach out to those we consider contaminated, unclean, dangerous.
Be with us as we touch and love and try to help people feel accepted despite the label they carry: HIV: AIDS: HEPTITIS: IMMUNE DEFICIENT: PLAGUE.
Loving Lord we pray that there may be some justice for the victims of diseases who are too poor to afford the treatments that we in this country consider right.
Loving Lord we pray that there may be some peace for the victims of diseases which leave them separated from their communities.
Loving Lord we pray that there may be peace for the victims of disease who worry that the stigma will affect the lives of their children and their children; who worry that their loved one will have no future without them.
Loving Lord; hear our prayer.
In the beginning God created the world, the heavens and the earth; water and land and all manner of living things.
In the beginning it was good.
But we have tried to possess the earth for our own advantage.
We have forgotten we are appointed stewards with responsibility to care and to tend and to cherish.
We clamour to own and to have and to keep.
We have forgotten that what we ‘have’ is lent by God.
We refuse to share to distribute to let go.
We have forgotten it is not all ‘ours’ but Gods and given to ALL living things.
Lord we are sorry for the way we have treated your creation.
We are sorry that we have taken so much of it for ourselves and that we can’t seem to stop wanting more, more, more.
Help us to return the earth to you and to assume our proper places as caretakers.
Help us to work with others to tidy up the messes we have made, to clean the waters and the air, to replenish the land.
Lord the earth is yours. It is holy and sacred and wonderful.
Help us to treat it as such.
This is your world Lord.
All of it.
We as individuals do not own it at all.
We as individuals do not have the right to claim it as ours.
It is yours and you give it freely to us all.
Help us to use the resources put at our disposal fairly.
Help us not to neglect those who appear not to have so much …
So much land …
So much food …
So much water …
Remind us Lord that this world is yours and that we need to share it.
Help us Lord to remember each time we get ourselves a bargain that somewhere someone is paying the full cost.
Help us Lord to remember each time we have a fast meal someone somewhere is labouring long and hard to scrape together crumbs.
Help us Lord to remember that when we forget to vote someone somewhere is literally dying to have their voice heard.
We give you thanks Lord for the gift of your world.
We will share it Lord.