Resources to Pray for Eradication of Poverty
Wednesday October 17th
Prayer is one of the most powerful ways we can effect change in the world. It helps us to grow closer to God and to be a part of the miraculous things He has planned. That is the rationale behind St George’s Prayer Vigil on 17th October 2018, timed to coincide with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
This is the second prayer vigil that St George’s has held, the first one being in June 2018, when we prayed for refugees around the world.
The idea of these prayer vigils is to come together as a community on a particular day to pray for positive change about a major issue affecting people around the world.
Joining up with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty means we will be part of a much bigger movement, and many other people around the world will also be praying about the same thing on this day.
We invite you to pray from your homes in the morning or in the evening on 17th October about this issue.
Please sign up for a particular time on the prayer rota posted at the back of the church. There are 30-minute time slots running from 6am to 9:30am and from 7:30pm to 11pm on that day. You can sign up for one or more time slots, and there can more than one person praying at a particular time.
Praying for a half-hour may seem daunting, so here we post some background information and some suggestions for prayers. We hope they are useful.
- At the beginning of the prayer time, lighting a candle and doing a simple breathing exercise can help to calm and focus your mind.
- One simple exercise is to concentrate on the movement of your breathing in and out, and remind yourself with each breath that God is with you.
- As you read through the material, do take time to reflect quietly on the information and the prayers, and allow times of quiet for God to speak to you.
- The United Nations defines extreme poverty as “a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services.”
- The observance of this day started in 1987 when more than 100,000 people gathered in Paris to recognize victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. In 1992, the UN General Assembly officially declared October 17th as the official International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
- Using the World Bank definition of extreme poverty as being those who live on just under $2 per day, roughly 766 million (or 1 in 10) people fell into this category in 2016.
- More than 85 percent live in just 20 countries, with India and China representing around half of them.
- The worldwide poverty rate and total number of extremely poor people has fallen since the mid-’90s, from 43 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2011. This halving of extreme poverty was one of the UN Millennium Development Goals. One exception is Sub-Saharan Africa, where the number rose from 290 million to 414 million.
Prayers About Poverty:
Our Loving Creator God, we bring before you this day the burden the whole world carries as it endures extreme poverty and hunger in every land. Stretch out your loving arms, we pray, to embrace the suffering women, men and children whose bodies, minds and spirits are shrinking before our very eyes. Help us to look, really look, with clear eyes and open hearts, to see the pain and hopelessness in their bewildered eyes. Kindle within each one of us a flame of love and purpose, and then enable us to channel our love into action in every way possible and impossible. For this we pray. Amen. Written by Mimi A. Simson (Episcopal Relief & Development)
Creator God, you loved the world into life. Forgive us when our dreams of the future are shaped by anything other than glimpses of a kingdom of justice, peace and an end to poverty. Incarnate God, you taught us to speak out for what is right. Make us content with nothing less than a world that is transformed into the shape of love, where poverty shall be no more. Breath of God, let there be abundant life. Inspire us with the vision of poverty over, and give us the faith, courage and will to make it happen.
Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, you are the origin of all gifts. Make us grateful stewards of your many blessings. Father, Creator of Abundance, grant us generosity in sharing our gifts and resources with our brothers and sisters around the world. Jesus, Prince of Peace, make us advocates of the peace that strengthens justice, and the justice that sustains peace. Spirit of Justice, may the love and equality you share with the Father and the Son inspire us to support just trade policies that lift up poor persons.
Father, Maker of the World, make us responsible stewards of the earth’s riches and respectful of local peoples from whose lands resources are extracted. Jesus, Lord Who Lightens Burdens, may we look with mercy on nations burdened by debt and commit ourselves to their relief. Holy Spirit, Author of Life, inspire us to protect the gift of creation and assist those in poverty who suffer the most from environmental harm.
Blessed Trinity, Communion of Love, help us to love our global neighbours and those displaced from their homes by welcoming refugees and immigrants, and reducing poverty in other countries. Father, through your Son and by the power of the Holy Spirit, help us to recognize your face in all those affected by global poverty, and fill us with the love and fortitude we need to confront its causes.
Father, we ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
“I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.” Psalm 140:12
God, thank you for the abundance of life, relationships, health, comfort and wealth you have provided, and thank you that even in times of need, despair and brokenness you are there. Please, put your arms around children and families in extreme poverty, so they feel comfort and hope; meet their needs both physically and spiritually. And, Lord, guide me so I can be your hands and feet, pursuing justice for the poor and upholding the cause of the needy.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10
Dear Lord, you are the God over all. We pray that you protect every child from the harm that surrounds them. Please provide a safe community and a safe haven for them to turn to in times of trouble, so that they may live long days filled with your love and joy.
“Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness, because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.” Psalm 5:8
Father God, please be with the parents, grandparents, guardians, teachers, pastors and community leaders. Make your plans and ways known to them. We ask that your wisdom be their guide, so they can set the foundation and the path for a way out of the despair of poverty.
Children in poverty are too often deprived of their childhood. Many are forced to work to help their families. Others are exploited, or exposed to depravity.
“That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish.” Philippians 2:15
Lord, we pray for innocence for children in poverty. We pray that every child would have the opportunity to wonder, to learn, to grow and to play. What joy it brings to your heart to see the innocence of a child. Our hearts yearn for it for them.
“But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
Lord God, we pray that you would stay near to all children living in poverty. Please provide bonds of friendship with others who would encourage and influence them to seek you, and to make good decisions. Let them be drawn to an uplifting community where they can flourish and contribute.
“But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.” 1 John 2:20
Heavenly Father, we ask that you fill the hearts of children living in extreme poverty. We ask that they would hear your voice calling them out of hopelessness and despair toward your great love. Please equip them with your knowledge and empower them with your wisdom to break the cycle of poverty in their lives.
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