Hunger Prayers

Throughout Ramadan 2012, friends of Interfaith Winston-Salem will lift up concerns about hunger in Winston-Salem through prayers and meditations. You are welcome to join the chorus by sending prayers of up to 150 words to
jmcleese1@yahoo.com for inclusion on our website.
 
Recent studies by the Food Research and Action Center rank Winston-Salem No. 1 in the nation for families with children vulnerable to experiencing hunger. Interfaith Winston-Salem and our three area mosques encourage the community to participate in “Fast With Us So Others May Eat” from mid-July through mid-August.
 
You may fast according to your own faith tradition and support the Second Harvest Food Bank by making donations of nonperishable foods or writing a check to the Second Harvest Food Bank with the notation “BackPacks.” The BackPacks program provides four nutritious meals each weekend during the school year.
 
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Today's Hunger Prayer
 

        Oh merciful God we offer thanksgiving for the gift of our daily bread, and for the bounty we hope never to take for granted.

        May we never mistake our abundance as an intimation of favor or reward for righteousness, but may our abundance prompt a greater humility.

        We pray that the acknowledgement that we live blessed lives creates in us an even more profound awareness that there are others who have far less. May this awareness of our privilege nourish a more generous spirit to share what we have with those who wrestle with hunger as a routine of life.

        We pray for the day when providing food for the starving will supersede the thirst for power and greater privilege. May the day come when we only starve the ravenous machines of war and not the powerless, undernourished multitudes of this world.

        We pray for a new day when all people will eat and not be hungry and drink and not be thirsty.

        In the name of all that is good and holy, Amen.

Charles F. Wilson

Christian

 

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God of earth and table, we hunger for justice. We thirst for our own transformation. Husband in us renewed imagination. Cultivate between us renewed sharing of resources. We look forward to a harvest of justice in Your Holy Presence. Amen.

Craig Schaub

       Parkway United Church of Christ

Winston-Salem

 

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     We walk through the supermarkets, amazed at the number of products on the bulging shelves.

        And we wonder how anyone can be hungry with this abundance.

        We visit the farmers markets, enjoying the beauty and the bounty.

        And we wonder how anyone can be hungry in this day.

        We sit at our own tables, laden with more than we can eat.

        And we wonder how anyone can be hungry when we have so much.

        We see the statistics about the problem of hunger in our community.

        And we wonder how so many people can be hungry in our affluence.

        We drive by the soup kitchen and see long lines of people waiting.

        And we wonder how so many people can be hungry.

        We pray that our eyes will be opened, our hearts will be touched and by our actions one less person will be hungry tonight.

        Amen.

Jerry McLeese

Chairperson

Interfaith Winston-Salem

 

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        Father and Creator of us all. We are deeply grateful for the many blessings you continue to bestow upon us. We thank you for the special blessing of food. Please touch the hearts and minds of the people in our community so they might participate in the “Fast With Us So Others May Eat” interfaith effort. Help us to always be mindful of the needs of others. Let not the hungry, O Lord, be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor be taken away. And let us all say together, Amen.
    
Clyde Fitzgerald
     Executive Director
     Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina

     Winston-Salem

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We often prefer a "drive by" spirituality, O God, rushing past those who are broken, looking for the quick fix or the easy answer. Forgive us and give us courage to listen to each other as we search for you and to work together in response to human hurt and hunger. Move us from religious rage to prophetic compassion wherever our faith may rest. Amen

Bill J. Leonard

      James and Marilyn Dunn Professor of Baptist Studies

Professor of Church History and Religion

Wake Forest University

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     Not yet a prayer...simple ramblings.

        Many times I have crossed the threshold of homes in Winston-Salem where the air was thick with crack smoke, the cold floor was bed for the children and there was no food.

        Visited tiny apartments where mother and father silently, desperately prayed the rosary, begging God for help in feeding the innocent, hungry babies they cradled in their arms.

        I remember a four-room bungalow...home to mom and dad and four young children. Winter heat was provided by a hot plate. Mom stayed awake at night so she could shoe the rats away from her sleeping babes. The rats were fat, the humans thin.

        Homes where abandoned men and women in the final stages of AIDS would be chronically hungry...the pantry and fridge long time empty.

        All of these children of God lived within three miles of my Winston-Salem home.

        Madeline Harold

        Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church

        Winston-Salem

 

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    God of All, we confess we have failed you. We know that there are those who hunger among us. We know that Winston-Salem is one of the hungriest cities in the nation, ranking #1 in food hardship with families struggling to put food on the table. We can and must do more to glorify you by loving our neighbors as ourselves. We must remember Jesus' solidarity with the poor when he said,

"I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matthew 25:35-36)." For when we serve those in need, we serve God. We pray that people of all faiths may come together and listen, learn, sacrifice and help the hungry during the Islamic season of Ramadan. May we learn how each faith tradition addresses hunger, and be ready to respond together. In your holy name we pray, Amen.

Rev. Laura Barclay
Social Ministries Coordinator
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina
Winston-Salem
 

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Is this the fast I have chosen? A day of afflicting the soul of man? Refraining from food today or at this moment only to go and do evil tomorrow? Is this fast acceptable to God? Do you not think I would prefer the following: a fast from injustice, a refraining from oppression, a breaking from consumption – the acceptance – of evil?

May our refraining from food at this time challenge us to feed those who are hungry tomorrow. Today's affliction is tomorrow's inspiration to bring good into the world. God has called upon us to eliminate wickedness. When we do, God's light will break forth as the dawn, healing shall quickly sprout, and righteousness will lead us bring God's glory into the world. (Based on Isaiah 58)

Rabbi Mark Strauss-Cohn
Temple Emanuel
Winston-Salem
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Om, May God Protectall of us May God Nourish all of us
May we Share our plates with needy and helpless

May we invite the kids to our hearts

May we Live with Contentment with Strong Body and Mind
May our Study be Enlightening, not giving rise to Hostility,
Om, Peace,Peace, Peace.

Sri Manjunath Shamanna
Hindu Temple of the Triad
Clemmons

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God of Fields and Tables,

The challenges we face are on the table today:

--People are hungry and thirsty

--Your good lands are hungry and thirsty.

We hunger and thirst for justice for your land and your peoples.

Cultivate in us seeds of mercy and grace.

The gifts of this good creation are on the table too:

--Knowledge to grow nutritious foods.

--Wisdom to turn grains into breads, harvests into feasts;

--Courage to transform agricultural and economic systems.

We long to eat well, to live abundantly. May the gifts of our meal and conversation tables become our witness against hunger and our cry against injustice.

God of fields and tables, we hunger and thirst for justice for your land and your peoples. Cultivate in us seeds of mercy and grace.

You gather us to these tables today, O God. May we encounter you with us as we break the bread of conversation. May we taste and see your goodness and go out to share it at all of the tables where we eat and work each day.

God of fields and tables, we hunger and thirst for justice for your land and your peoples. Cultivate in us your seeds of mercy and grace.

We pray boldly, seeking courage and to spread your bounteous seeds with abandon across the world’s wide landscapes.

Amen.

Jill Crainshaw

Wake Forest University School of Divinity

Minister-Member, Salem Presbytery

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