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Praying about

Poverty J e sus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”

We pray for the children, women, and men across the world who struggle each day to survive, pitted against economic conditions beyond their control. Give them strength to meet each day and hope for a different future. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” We pray for the people and organizations campaigning for change. May the call for trade justice, for an end to debt, and for more and better aid echo loud and clear across the world. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” We pray for the leaders and politicians with the power to change things. Help them to take the side of the poor, to resist the voices of self-interest and complacency, and to make bold choices for the good of all people. We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, friend of the poor. Amen. -Adapted from Make Poverty History

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O n th o se b o wed d o wn by p o verty,

“Forgive us for our focus on material goods, and our part in the worship of economic growth.�

Lord have mercy. On those who struggle to survive, Lord have mercy. On parents who have lost children to disease, Lord have mercy. On children who miss school because of unpayable debt, Lord have mercy. On young people growing up with no hope for the future, Lord have mercy. On adults who work and cannot make a living, Lord have mercy. On farmers who cannot sell what they produce, Lord have mercy. On people working to rebuild their lives after disasters, Lord have mercy. For campaigners fighting for justice, Make their voices heard. For citizens standing up for their rights, Make their voices heard. For postcard-signers, email-senders, and phone-callers, Make their voices heard. For politicians and decision-makers, Give them wisdom, Lord. For ourselves, as we struggle with these issues, Make us the means of change. For your world, Help us make poverty history. -Micah Challenge

C hrist, wh o sh owed great compassion to the poor,

give us compassion toward those in poverty. Your wish is for all of your children to live with dignity, with adequate food, shelter, health care, and education. Help us take up your work as a community of faith and guide us as we seek just solutions to the poverty in our midst. Amen. - author unknown

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Go d o f j usti c e and compassi o n, we ask forgiveness for the

widening gulf between rich and poor, for the use of money as a measure of all things, for the culture of self-gratification, for the continuing disparities between those who have so much and those who have so little. And for the suffering of those people who are excluded from the table of abundance. Forgive us for our focus on material goods, and our part in the worship of economic growth in a world where resources are limited and where we are already using more than our fair share. Forgive us for going along with what is easy, for failing to come to grips with the problems of change and to engage in the complexity of social issues. Fill us with a living faith that we may become lively seeds of your kingdom, continually growing in your way of love, instruments of personal and social reconciliation, vehicles for a new dawn when those in poverty are welcomed to the table where compassion and justice meet. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen. -Education for Justice

“I dare to pray: Lord, let the world be changed, For I long to see the end of poverty.�

I dare t o pray: Lord, let the world be changed,

For I long to see the end of poverty; I dare to pray: Lord, let the rules be changed, For I long to see our economic structures bring justice to the poor; I dare to pray: Lord, let my life be changed, For I long to bring hope where the good news is needed. In the strength of your spirit And inspired by your compassion, I make this promise to work for change, And wait confidently for the day When you make all things new And those that weep will rejoice. - Peter Graystone

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M ay Go d bless us with discomfort

at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts. May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for economic justice for all people.   May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, hunger, homelessness, and rejection, so that we may reach out our hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.   And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.  -Education for Justice

“O God, stir our hearts to action. Help us to be full of compassion.”

Lo rd G o d, you created all people as special and equal, yet we live in a world where there is great injustice. We know this grieves your heart and we ask your forgiveness for our complacency. Too often, we shrug our shoulders and do nothing, or we blame poor people themselves for their suffering. Sometimes our behavior and attitudes help to perpetuate injustice.

O God, stir our hearts to action. Help us to be full of compassion. Just as Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem and healed those who cried out to him, let us be people who cry out for justice and spread the good news of your kingdom. We pray through Jesus our Lord, Amen. -Micah Challenge O ur dear G o d and Father, we admit that we have neglected to remember the poor. Forgive us, we pray. Help us, as followers of Jesus, to work together to pursue justice, be passionate about kindness, and walk humbly with you, our God.

May our world be transformed in every area by your love. Our dear God and Father, we admit that we have been arrogant as a nation. Forgive us, we pray. Help us to be agents of hope for and with the poor and to work with others to hold our leaders accountable in securing a more just and merciful world. Amen. -Micah Challenge PA G E 4 O F 6

Go d, help us to end poverty in our time.

“God, help us to end poverty in our time.”

The poverty of having a child with too little to eat and no place to sleep, no air, sunlight and space to breathe, bask and grow. The poverty of watching your child suffer and get sicker and sicker and not knowing what to do or how to get help because you don’t have a car or health insurance. The poverty of working your fingers to the bone every day taking care of someone else’s children and neglecting your own, and still not being able to pay your bills. The poverty of having a job that does not let you afford a stable place to live and being terrified you’ll become homeless and lose your children to foster care. The poverty of losing your job because you cannot find reliable childcare or transportation to work. The poverty of working all your life caring for others and having to start all over again caring for the grandchildren you love. The poverty of earning a college degree, having children, opening a childcare center, and taking home $300 a week or month if you’re lucky. The poverty of loneliness and isolation and alienation—having no one to call or visit, tell you where to get help, assist you in getting it, or care if you’re living or dead. The poverty of having too much and sharing too little and having the burden of nothing to carry. The poverty of convenient blindness and deafness and indifference to others, of emptiness and enslavement to things, drugs, power, violence, and fleeting fame. The poverty of low aim and paltry purpose, weak will and tiny vision, big meetings and small action, loud talk and sullen grudging service. The poverty of believing in nothing, standing for nothing, sharing nothing, sacrificing nothing, struggling for nothing. The poverty of pride and ingratitude for God’s gifts of life and children and family and freedom and country and not wanting for others what you want for yourself. The poverty of greed for more and more and more, ignoring, blaming, and exploiting the needy, and taking from the weak to please the strong. The poverty of addiction to drugs, to drink, to work, to self, to the status quo, and to injustice. The poverty of fear that keeps you from doing the thing you think is right. The poverty of despair and cynicism. God, help us end poverty in our time in all its faces and places, young and old, rural, urban, suburban, and small town too, and in every color of humans you have made everywhere. God, help us to end poverty in our time in all its guises—inside and out— physical and spiritual, so that all our and your children may live the lives that you intend. - author unknown

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About World Vision World V isio n is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, World Vision serves alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people.

We envision a world where each child experiences “fullness of life” as described in John 10:10. We know this can be achieved only by addressing the problems of poverty and injustice in a holistic way. World Vision is unique in bringing 60 years of experience in three key areas to help children and families thrive: emergency relief, long-term development, and advocacy. We bring our skills across many areas of expertise to each community where we work, enabling us to support children’s physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

About World Vision Resources E ndin g glo bal p o verty and injustice begins with education: understanding the magnitude and causes of poverty, its impact on human dignity, and our connection to those in need around the world.

World Vision Resources is the publishing ministry of World Vision. World Vision Resources educates Christians about global poverty, inspires them to respond, and equips them with innovative resources to make a difference in the world.

For more information about our resources, contact: World Vision Resources Mail Stop 321 P.O. Box 9716 Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 Fax: 253-815-3340

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Praying About Poverty  

Prayers focusing on the problem of poverty throughout the world.