Prayers at the close of Blog Action Day
I’ve been thinking for a long time about what to write for Blog Action Day, and I’ve been changing my mind about it pretty much all day. How should I relate poverty and AIDS? Silly question — they’re so intimately connected, so tangled together, that I couldn’t un relate them if I tried. Look just about anywhere on this blog, and you can find vivid examples of the interactions between poverty and HIV/AIDS.
And then there’s the other main subject of this blog: faith. And that’s where I want to end on a day that I hope has stirred people to think about poverty and related problems around the world. Here at the end of the day, I offer prayers.
Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, 1979)
We beg you, Lord, to help and defend us. Deliver the oppressed, pity the insignificant, raise the fallen, show yourself to the needy, heal the sick, bring back those of your people who have gone astray, feed the hungry, lift up the weak, take off the prisoners’ chains. May every nation come to know that you alone are God, that Jesus Christ is your child, that we are your people, the sheep of your pasture. (Clement of Rome)
We bring before you, O Lord, the troubles and perils of people and nations, the sighing of prisoners and captives, the sorrows of the bereaved, the necessities of strangers, the helplessness of the weak, the despondency of the weary, the failing powers of the aged. O Lord, draw near to each: for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. (St. Anselm)
Watch, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ, rest your weary ones. Bless your dying ones. Soothe your suffering ones. Pity your afflicted ones. Shield your joyous ones. And all for your love’s sake, Amen. (St. Augustine)