God, you are the God of all – the God of each of us, the God of the least of these. Help us find you in every corner of humanity.
When we see you hungry or thirsty – God we know there are many ways to hunger and thirst. We know there are those among us, those not far from us, those across the world who hunger and thirst for real bread and real water. We pray for real needs to be met with real sustenance. We also know that we, too, hunger and thirst in other ways – for friendship, for justice, for peace, for comfort, for righteousness. Bless us in our own hunger and thirst, and may we, too, be present to others as they ache to be filled.
When we see you in the face of a stranger – God you are the creator and redeemer of all. And yet, we often prefer to think that you are the creator and redeemer of those who look like us. Meet us in the stranger – the outcast, the alienated, the oppressed, the strange, the irritating, the stubborn, the difficult. Reveal your spirit to us. May we have the grace to greet the stranger as we would greet you.
When we see you naked – God, there is a chill in the air, and we are mindful of those who lack the necessary means to find warmth as the seasons turn. We also know other ways that we are naked, vulnerable, afraid. May our vulnerabilities and fears be met with warmth and peace.
When we see you sick – God there are many broken bodies, failing bodies, hurting bodies, and for all those we lift them up to you. May we be a presence for healing – of mind, body and soul. For all the invisible forms of sickness and suffering among us – abuse, mental illness, paralyzing fear – we also lift these needs to you. Help us know how to show your love, grace and healing in the midst of sickness.
When we see you in prison – God help us confront the criminal, not with fear, but with courage and compassion. Help us, too, understand all the other ways that those around us, and ourselves, are held captive to things not of your kingdom – fear, anger, jealousy, bitterness. Release us from that which binds us – help us also be a force for liberation in the world around us.
For all those who face the realities of hunger, thirst, alienation, lacking clothing, medical care, and for those in prison, we also pray for the political will to challenge, shape and re-shape, and redirect broken systems and structures to more closely model justice, sustenance and care.
We pray all these things in the name of your son, our Christ, Amen.