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Everyday prayers that can change the world

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Prayers change world 2

Throughout history, followers of Jesus have faithfully lifted the cries of their heart to God in prayer.

For us at Tearfund, prayer is an integral part of our work pursuing God’s vision of a just and compassionate world.

We believe in the power of praying like Jesus that “God's Kingdom come”.

We lament and grieve with our brothers and sisters around the world who are struggling with poverty and injustice.

We stand with our partners who are bringing hope to their communities.

And we dream of a restored, renewed and reconciled world where God’ shalom reigns.

Here are 15 everyday prayers that can guide you as you lament, hope and dream along with us.

Prayer 1: A Franciscan blessing

May God 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

justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless us with tears

to shed for those who suffer pain,

rejection, hunger and war.

so that we may reach out our hand

and turn their pain to joy.

May God bless us with just enough

foolishness to believe we can

make a difference In the world.

so we can do what others

claim cannot be done.

- A Franciscan Blessing

Prayer 2:

Dear God,

Please enlarge our hearts to love each other,

to love our neighbour, to love our enemy as our friend.

Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up.

If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other’s faults and burdens.

If we love enough, we are going to light a fire in the hearts of others.

And it is love that will burn out the sins and hatreds that sadden us.

It is love that will make us want to do great things for each other."

-Dorothy Day

Prayer 3: Disturb us, O Lord

Disturb us, O Lord

when we are too well-pleased with ourselves

when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little,

because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, O Lord

when with the abundance of things we possess,

we have lost our thirst for the water of life

when, having fallen in love with time,

we have ceased to dream of eternity

and in our efforts to build a new earth,

we have allowed our vision of Heaven to grow dim.

Stir us, O Lord

to dare more boldly, to venture into wider seas

where storms show Thy mastery,

where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.

In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes

and invited the brave to follow.

Amen

This prayer is attributed to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu adapted from an original prayer by Sir Francis Drake.

Prayer 4 - An upside down world

Things are topsy-turvy in your kingdom, God.

Those living in poverty bear gifts of great worth,

the dead rise, the meek inherit the earth.

Teach us how to live in an upside-down world

where we are called to welcome the outcast,

prepare a feast for the ragged, and forgive those who offend us.

Amen

- from Common Prayer, A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.

Prayer 5: Renew our world

God, today we lift up our vision of a world where extreme poverty, inequality and environmental exploitation are no longer. We pray for a world where people and our planet thrive, with systems that are restorative and just.

Today, we pray:

Lord, renew our spirits and cleanse our hearts.

Renew our minds and transform our lives.

Renew our cities and rebuild our ruins.

Renew our world, in your name we pray.

Amen

(Prayer by Emma Wyndham Chalmers, TEAR Australia)

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. (Isaiah 61:4)

Prayer 7: Peace Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

Amen

-St Francis

Prayer 8: A world made new

May we dream of a world made new,

Where together we shout for justice,

And as one we fight against oppression.

May we dream of a world made new,

Where together we seek God’s righteousness

And as one we sing God’s praise.

May we dream of a world made new,

Where together we climb God’s mountain,

And as one we enter the promised land.

May we dream of a world made new,

Where together we proclaim the good news of God’s kingdom,

And as one we enjoy its peace, and abundance and love.

(Adapted from Psalm 72:1-10, & Amos 5:24)

Source: www.godspacelight.com

Prayer 9: A prayer for world neighbourliness

O God, we pray for a broader vision of the needs

of humanity, and a deeper compassion

to fill those needs; for a planting of the seeds of concern for all humanity in our hearts; for a tapping of the wells of generosity.

May we live together as people who have been forgiven a great debt.

May we be gentle, walking softly with one another.

May we be understanding, lest we shall add to the world’s sorrow or cause to flow needless tears.

May we be as anxious for the rights of others as we are for our own.

May we be as eager to forgive as we are to seek forgiveness.

May we know no barriers of creed or race or sex, that our love may be like Yours—a love that sees all people as Your children and our kin.

May we be ministers of humanity.

- By US pastor Peter Marshall

Prayer 10: A prayer for world neighbourliness

Our Father,

who has set a restlessness in our hearts

and made us all seekers

after that which we can never fully find,

forbid us to be satisfied with what we make of life.

Draw us from base content and set our eyes on far-off goals.

Keep us at tasks too hard for us that we may be driven to Thee for strength.

Deliver us from fretfulness and self-pitying;

make us sure of the good we cannot see

and of the hidden good in the world.

Open our eyes to simple beauty all around us

and our hearts to the loveliness people hide from us

because we do not try to understand them.

Save us from ourselves

and show us a vision of a world made new.

– A prayer (adapted slightly) by Eleanor Roosevelt.

Prayer 11: A prayer for world neighbourliness

A beautiful and compelling version of the Lord's prayer.

Our God who is in heaven,

And all of us here on earth;

The hungry, the oppressed, the excluded.

Holy is your name.

May your reign come.

In our choice to struggle with the complexities of this world,

And to confront greed and the desire for power in ourselves,

In our nation and in the global community.

May your reign come.

Give us this day our daily bread;

Bread that we are called to share,

Bread that you have given us abundantly

And that we must distribute fairly, ensuring security for all.

May your reign come.

Forgive us our trespasses;

Times we have turned away from the struggles

Of other people and countries,

Times when we have thought only of our own security.

May your reign come.

Lead us not into temptation;

The temptation to close our minds, ears, and eyes

To the unfair global systems that create

Larger and larger gaps between the rich and the poor;

The temptation to think it is too difficult

To bring about more just alternatives.

May your reign come.

Deliver us from evil;

The evil of a world where violence happens in your name,

Where wealth for a few us more important

Than economic rights for all,

Where gates and barriers between people

Are so hard to bring down

May your reign come.

May your reign come, for yours is the kingdom,

the power and the glory forever and ever.

Amen

Source: www.godspacelight.com

Prayer 12: Renew us everyday

Our God, you hold our lives in your hands.

You have promised to give us a new heart

and to put a new spirit in us.

We pray: renew us everyday.

Forgive us where we have failed

to be good stewards and to be good neighbours.

Give us the courage

to think beyond our own lives;

to live and consume responsibly

so that our near and far neighbours can experience their full dignity, and that we can help restore and admire the beauty of our communities and of this earth.

Our God,

you hold our world in your hands.

You hear your creation groaning

but you have promised to liberate it from its pain.

We pray: renew our world.

Forgive those of us

who haven’t used their power wisely.

Give us and our leaders the courage

to think beyond our own economies;

to seek genuine partnerships

so that all people can experience the fullness of life, and that our planet is known to be the common home for all creation and future generations.

Amen 🙏🌏

– Prayer from EU-CORD, featured in the Renew Our World prayer resource.

Prayer 13 - Psalm 23 – Aboriginal Style

My big fella boss up in the sky is like the father Emu.

He will always look after me and take me to green grass,

and lead me to where the water holes are

full and fresh all the time.

He leads me away from the thick scrub and helps me keep safe from the hunters, dingoes and eagles.

At night time when I am very lonely and sad,

I will not be afraid,

for my Father covers me with his feathers

like a father emu.

His spear and shield will always protect me.

My big fella boss always give me a good feed

in the middle of my enemies.

In hot times he makes me sit down in a cool shade and rest.

He gives me plenty of love and care all of my life through.

Then I will live with my big fella boss like a father emu:

that cares for his chicks in good country, full of peace and safety

For evermore and evermore.

– Prayer by Uncle Rev Ron Williams

Prayer 14: Be born again into our world

Lord Jesus Christ,

thou Son of the Most High,

Prince of Peace,

be born again into our world.

Wherever there is war in this world,

wherever there is pain,

wherever there is loneliness,

wherever there is no hope,

come, though long-expected one,

with healing in thy wings.

Savior, be born in each of us

as we raise our faces to thy face,

not knowing fully who we are or who thou art,

knowing only that thy love is beyond our knowing

and that no other has the power to make us whole.

Come, Lord Jesus, to each who longs for thee

even though we have forgotten thy name. Come quickly. Amen.

- A prayer by Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark, pp. 25-6.

Prayer 15: Prayer for the church

Lord…

We thank you for your church,

founded upon your Word,

that challenges us to do more than sing and pray,

but go out and work as though

the very answer to our prayers

depended on us and not upon you.

Help us to realise that humanity was created

to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity.

Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace.

Help us to walk together,

pray together,

sing together,

and live together

until that day when all God’s children

will rejoice in one common band of humanity

in the reign of our Lord and of our God, we pray.

Amen.

- The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.