O God, we pray for these
homeless children—Too many in number, just in our community, each one,
precious, precious Lord in your sight. And there are even more who live on
the edge of becoming homeless themselves, who go to bed hungry, who do not
have the things we take so much for granted like clothing, food, toys. Help
these kids, O God. Comfort them, fill them, give them hope, and let them know
that when all else fails, you are there to hold us in your very hands, to
wrap your arms around us. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
O God, we realize this issue is much larger than children, that it
effects parents and families and other adults. But we are still all your
children, and you ask us to care for those in need, to be Jesus, to work for
systemic change and justice. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
homelessness touches on so many issues, and we would be blind if we did not
realize that many people are hurting in our community. There are addictions
and mental illness and even abuse, wounds that can leave scars and lasting
effects. Though we take love for granted in our families, we know there are
some who have not felt that love. We ask for understanding and love; we ask
for direction on the path that leads to healing and wholeness, which often
offers hard choices. Help those who are wounded in body and spirit, their
families and friends. Grant us the wisdom to find the path that leads to life
and the courage to walk it even when it is hard. God in your mercy … Hear
we pray for the caregivers, for the folks who work with the least of these,
who offer assistance and work for change. We lift up the Mission and their
work, their calling, their ministry to help these children and their
families. We pray for all the counselors, the teachers, coaches, and
principals to help them act in a way that manifests your love. God in your
mercy … Hear our prayer.
O God, we give thanks for all the ways care is offered in our
community, for the many pantries. As Isaiah tells us, “a child shall lead
us,” and we ask your continued blessing on this program where the homeless
are helping other homeless. And we hear their mantra, saying to us, “be
the change you wish to see.” , For the Backpack Program that sends food
home with our children. For all the churches and organizations and groups,
from every food drive to every item donated, we thank you, O Lord, and ask
your continued motivation in our lives to care, to care as Jesus taught, as
Jesus did. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
we also give thank for the people who mentor children, for the programs that
help them with their homework, build their character, instill a positive
self-image, inspire them to dream and play and hope. We lift up the Boys and
Girls club and every after school.
we pray for our leaders, our elected officials, to work to address this
issue. Help us to lift up this issue, to bring it into their sight, to shine
your glorious light into all the dark places, even places we’d rather not see
in order that your grace and goodness, your love and justice might flow
through our community. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
we pray for our society that will not just offer compassion, but systemic
change that addresses these issues, that brings about justice, that
recognizes that all of your children have the basic right to food, clothing,
shelter, basic right to hope. We pray that as Citrus County grows, we will be
mindful of people of all economic brackets, that there will be affordable
housing, and room will be made for those on the margin. God in your mercy
… Hear our prayer.
O God, though we pray asking that you comfort your people, make your
grace known to us in real and substantial ways, and always offer us the hope
of life through Jesus Christ, I also ask that you make us uncomfortable,
that the despicable injustice that a child does not have a place to sleep at
night will jar us to the core of our being, challenging us not just to pray
with our hearts tonight, but to pray with action—to work and volunteer and
build a community in accordance with your Kingdom. Stir our souls, ignite a
passion for compassion, make us uncomfortable with the status quo that we
might see you glorified through our work for a better world. And as small and
inadequate as we are, as humble as we try to be, empower us with your Holy
Spirit which strengthens that your will be done in Citrus County. God in
your mercy … Hear our prayer. Amen.