Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Augustinian Prayer Service for World Food Day

Today, on World Food Day, I would like to share portions of a special service that the Augustians of the Midwest created especially for this day.  Below are the Call to Worship, an Opening Prayer, a Psalm of Invocation, and a Closing Prayer.  But there is much more.  Click here to see the full service.

Call to Worship

During this autumn season, full of the bountiful harvests and plentiful food, people of faith understand that God calls all nations not only to thanksgiving for these gifts, but to repentance and a new commitment.

God calls us to repentance from a mind set that resists public responsibility for hunger in our midst and a new commitment to address the needs of hungry people in our land. We know that hunger exists and that it is growing. We also know that hunger need not exist anywhere in today’s world. And we know, beyond a shadow of any doubt, that the love of Christ calls us to do all we can to change the situation.

Opening Prayer

Therefore, let us take a few quiet moments to give thanks and to pray for our neighbors who will not eat enough this day, that they may be filled, and for our nation and those who shape its policies, that the elimination of hunger may truly become a national priority. And let us pray for ourselves that we may be filled with such love for those who hunger that we commit ourselves to unaccustomed actions that will send a strong, determined signal to world leaders to work for an end to hunger in our bountiful earth.

(Pause for silent reflection and prayer)

A Psalm of Invocation (from Psalm 67)

Leader: God, show kindness and bless us.
All: And make your face to smile on us.
Leader: For then the earth will acknowledge your ways
All: And all nations know your power to save.
Leader: Let the nations praise you, God.
All: Let the nations praise you.
Leader: Let the nations shout and sing for joy.
All: Since you bring true justice to the world.
Leader: The soil has given its harvest.
All: God, our God, has blessed us.
Leader: May God bless us, and let God be feared.
All: To the very ends of the earth!

Closing Prayer

Leader: Most gracious God, who gives the fruits of the earth for the benefit of all your creatures, we give thanks to you for abundant harvests and plentiful food. We pray for those in our land who are denied these gifts, and we seek your forgiveness for our complicity in their want. We pray for those whose voices are not heard and for those who do not hear. For give us when our choices are selfish ones, and forgive us especially when we do not choose to raise our own voice against the pain of those among us who suffer needless want.

Most of all, God, we give you thanks for the revelation of your love in Jesus Christ, who came that everyone might have abundant life. We pray in Jesus’ name. All: Amen.

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