O Christ, you once said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35) Today we yearn for your abundant life. We hunger for the bread of heaven to sustain us on our journey to find you. Reveal yourself in the moving and mundane moments that comprise our lives. Be our ever-present companion. May we feel in our grief, hurt, sorrow, and joy. Nourish us with your steadfast love and abundant mercy along the way.
Source of love, this is a precarious and tenuous time as we learn to live in new ways with COVID- 19 still in our midst. We are so grateful for the miracle of the vaccinations yet are concerned for the surge of the delta variant. And there remains a vaccine inequity around the world. Help us to find ways to bring care and healing to all who need it. We still do not know what long-term effects the pandemic will have on our collective health, economies, and social structures. Remind us that our being and well-being are tethered to one another. We are grateful for the change in public health policy in Tanzania where a new vaccination initiative was initiated by the new president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, this week. May we place our trust in you and may your transformational love unclench the grip that fear has on us.
The (USA) gymnast, Simon Biles, stepped away from competing in the Olympics in Japan to focus on her mental well health. Holy One, we are grateful for those who articulate their need for help, who prioritize their health over others’ expectations, and who know the freedom that can come from setting boundaries. May we all hear your still, quiet voice that reassures us– we are enough. We are your beloved for no other reason than our existence. There is nothing we can do to earn your love or our salvation.
O Creator, your creation continues to cry from the desolation and destruction caused by climate change. No corner of the world is unaffected- flooding in South America and Southeast Asia, record setting heatwaves and wildfires in Australia and the United States and devastating cyclones in Africa. Scientists have noted an unprecedented surge of climate-related disasters since 2019. How can this news be unprecedented, yet sound so familiar? Stir our complacent hearts. Let us not be fatigued by the magnitude of the devastation, for you are a god of small beginnings. Guide us toward better understanding of how we might be change agents against the rise of climate change. Cast a vision of how we may be better stewards of your beloved creation and all that lies within it.
Alpha and Omega, there is no beginning or end to your love, mercy, and grace. You encompass all that was, all that is, and all that will be. Therefore, we uplift in our prayers all those challenges, conflicts, and ruptures that seem to be beyond repair or reconciliation:
We pray for your children in North and South Korea as leaders within both countries have articulated a commitment to improve diplomatic ties and rebuild trust.
We pray for your children in China as the government is expanding its nuclear capabilities with the construction of a second field of missile silos in its western deserts.
We pray for your children in the Tigray, Ethiopia as conflict between the central government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front has begun to spread to other parts of northern Ethiopia, and attacks continue against Eritrean refugees in the region.
We pray for your children in Afghanistan as there have been escalating attacks on civilians as Taliban insurgents have recently captured more areas and seized vital border control points.
God, we thirst for your justice and hunger for your peace. We pray for the day when all will turn their weapons into ploughshares. We hope for the day when we will break bread together and feast upon your abundant love. We pray this in the name of your son and our savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.