Creative and guiding spirit,
We bring this prayer with particular remembrance that, just as we shall always have the poor among us, so it is also our work to notice and to help.
We pray earnestly for the strength of vision and of mind to respond thoughtfully to needs throughout the world, such as:
–The need for better and cheaper cook stoves. Their wide use would not only save lives (the World Bank estimates 1 million annually) but would also help mitigate global warming.
–Global warming itself, with its threat to food security.
–Child pregnancy. An estimate says that 2 million girls younger than 15 in developing nations give birth each year.
–Legal and social support to identifiable groups, such as indigenous women in Latin America, who have not shared in the overall prosperity of their countries.
–We pray for challenging, meaningful work for young people throughout Europe and the United States.
It is altogether too easy for us to succumb to despair when we confront such problems. Bless us with the grace not to yield. Lack of hope can lead us altogether too quickly to lack of help.
Strengthen us to be mindful of the troubles of the world, the ones whose existence we pray may be more transitory:
–Where there is progress – as in the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, and headway in the discussions between the government of Columbia and the FARC rebels – grant us generous spirits.
–Where there are threats – like the possibility that violence in the Central African Republic may turn into genocide – we pray for the leaders of the world. May you favor them with good judgment and a determination to pursue right action.
–Where conditions of war – as in Syria – displace millions and put them in need of humanitarian outrage, we pray for relief and generous financial support.
The world is a needy place. We have named only a few of the issues that call out for help. Give us the courage we need to address these and other needs of the world in whatever way our circumstances allow.