Prayer helps the starving person

Prayers and practical engagement to overcome hunger

Churches Action Week for Food (October 15-22, 2018)

During the Churches Action Week for Food (October 15-22) we also celebrate World Food Day (October 16), International Rural Women Day (October 15) and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17) October).

The signs of the times

• Hunger in spite of excess: Although the world produces enough or even more food than necessary, one in nine people worldwide today (equivalent to 795 million people) is malnourished and goes to bed hungry. Malnutrition accounts for 45 percent of all child deaths under the age of five - the equivalent of 3.1 million children each year. Missing food causes growth disorders, disorders in brain development, lower intelligence, a weakened immune system and an increased risk of developing serious diseases such as diabetes or cancer in the course of their life in one in four children.

• Extreme inequality and injustice in the world: 82 percent of the wealth created in 2017 went to the accounts of the richest percent of the world's population, while the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorer half of the world's population got nothing. Trade and market distortions contribute to the fact that the few rich are getting richer and the poor get poorer.

• Conflict and hunger: Conflict remains the main cause of acute food insecurity in 18 countries - 15 of them in Africa and the Middle East. They are the number one cause of a large part - 60 percent - of the acute food insecurity cases in the world, affecting 74 million people.

• Relationship between land, water, food, the environment and climate change: Climate change affects the availability of water and food security. At the same time, industrial agriculture and factory farming, the unsustainable use of water and land resources and the unrestrained, consumer-oriented lifestyle all contribute to climate change. The strangulation of indigenous communities, smallholder farms and artisanal fishing, the unleashed commercial agriculture and fishing, the deforestation of forests - through which around 75,000 km² of forests are lost worldwide every year -, the destructive mining and deep-sea mining contribute to environmental destruction and water scarcity , endanger food sovereignty and put biodiversity at risk. The entry of fertilizers used in agriculture and other agrochemicals, which enrich our freshwater reserves with too many nutrients, leads to a good breeding ground for pathogens and dangerous algal blooms. 80 percent of industrial and municipal wastewater is disposed of untreated. 70 percent of what people use from our scarce water resources is used for agriculture. Unfortunately, it is estimated that around a third of the food produced for human consumption worldwide is lost or thrown away, which equates to around 1.3 billion tons per year. Climate disasters - mainly droughts - were also key factors in food crises in 23 countries (two thirds of them in Africa) and have plunged around 39 million people into acute food insecurity.

Call to worship

Head: Come and let us worship God who gave us life and food to sustain life.
Answer: We praise God for his wonderful creation.

Head: Come and let us follow Jesus Christ, who inspires us to hunger and thirst for righteousness and righteousness.
Answer: We praise and praise God who restores the weak and hungry.

Head: Come and let the Holy Spirit guide us in our pursuit of justice in the distribution of food.
Answer: We praise God for the abundance of life He has promised to all.

Opening prayer

The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it
the world and those living on it; (Psalm 24: 1)

God comes to earth and waters it
and makes you very rich,
... he softens them with gentle rain
and bless their fruits.
God makes grain good for man.

(based on Psalm 65: 9-10)

God creates peace in your boundaries
and fill you with the best wheat.(Psalm 147:14)

The Lord protects the strangers
and receives orphans and widows;
but he leads astray the wicked.
(Psalm 146: 9)

Give thanks to the Lord; because he is friendly
and his goodness endures forever. (Psalm 118.1)

Lord, who can stay in your tent?
Who can dwell on your holy mountain?
(Psalm 15.1)


Reading from the Hebrew Bible - Isaiah 55: 1

Well, all of you who are thirsty,
come here to the water!
And you who have no money
come here, buy and eat!
Come here and buy with no money
and free wine and milk!

Confession and renewal

Lecturer 1: Oh lord we're part of the society that tramples on the arms
who steals their grain, seeds and indigenous knowledge,
who steals their land, waters, farms and resources.
Their livelihoods and the sweat of their brow.

Answer: God forgive us and help us to stand by the side of the oppressed in solidarity and to overcome greed and injustice.

Lecturer 2: Oh Lord, we are part of a society that refuses to admit that every ninth person in our world today suffers from hunger and lives in poverty in the midst of wealth and abundance.

Answer: God forgive us for our numbness and help us be more receptive to and respond to the needs of others. Let us share our resources and efforts with the hungry and needy.

Lecturer 3: We are part of the society that tolerates conflict and insecurity and contributes to it. These situations lead to hunger and immeasurable suffering for millions of vulnerable children, girls, women and men, whose rights are violated every day and who experience violence every day.

Answer: God forgive us for our complicity and inaction. Help us to work tirelessly for peace and justice and to end violence.

Lecturer 4: We are part of a society that wastes a third of the food produced. A society that is increasingly consumer-oriented, wasteful and careless, polluting and destroying the environment and contributing to climate change.

Answer: God forgive us that we are so wasteful, so greedy and not committed to protecting the environment. Help us to live more responsibly and to be catalysts of change in our society.

Prayer: our bread

Lecturer 1:

God of the earth and the cornfields,
give us
our daily food.
This food is not ours
it is yours and you have graciously given it to us.
It's food to share
Food that is blessed
and should satisfy every human being.
It should satisfy our hunger and our loneliness,
without us hoarding or hiding them.

Lecturer 2:

Don't just give us food
give us also the dignity that we are denied.
For walls and wars
Greed and ambition,
the privatization of general knowledge and public resources
to overcome.
All of this is marginalized, marginalized
condemns, expels and kills.

Lecturer 1:

Give us safe spaces where we can come together
to celebrate the diversity of humanity.
Give us the ability all with open arms
with compassion and a willingness to share,
to meet with outstretched hands and open hearts
and to be committed to the fullness of life.

Lecturer 2:

Give us words that encourage
Deeds that are inclusive and just,
Gestures and behavior that give hope and encouragement.
With songs that inspire us every day
with tenderness and nutritional value.
Let our glasses overflow
with justice, peace and equality.

Gerardo Oberman, Argentina
Translated and edited by Greta Nania Montoya Ortega, WCC

Gospel reading: Matthew 11: 28-30

“Come to me, all of you who are troublesome and burdensome; I want to refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am meek and humble in heart; so you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is gentle and my burden is light. "


Prayer spoken alternately

Lecturer 1:God help us to recognize you in the hungry, thirsty and most vulnerable of us;
All: God help us worship you by serving those most in need.

Lecturer 2:God help us strive for justice and peace;
All: God help us resolve conflicts and help people live safe and fulfilling lives.

Lecturer 3:God help us to help each other carry our burden;
All: God help us together to face the challenge of overcoming hunger and injustice, for we all face this challenge together.

Lecturer 4:God help us to stand up for the rights of smallholders and fishing families;
All: God, help us that we stand up for the biodiversity of our world and the wealth of indigenous knowledge and protect it.

Lecturer 5:God, help us to live responsibly and to move gently on this earth;
All: God help us reduce food waste, moderate our irresponsible consumer behavior, promote healthy and active lifestyles and eating and the use of renewable energies, and preserve creation and protect the environment.

An adaptation of the Lord's Prayer

Head:Let's pray an edited version of the Our Father together

Our father in Heaven,
whenever we see nature and everything around us,
we think of your name.
May your kingdom come for us
the whole world will become a safe place where everyone is welcome.

May your will be done on the journey of our lives today,
as in heaven so on earth.
Give us our daily nourishment, the nourishment of life,
and may these be divided fairly, so that everyone has enough to eat and drink.

Forgive us if we forget those who have less and suffer from injustice.
Help us keep striving for justice and peace,
be with us in our commitment to a world where there is no inequality
and in which there is nothing missing.
Don't tempt us to want more than we need
Deliver us from evil, from being self-centered and greedy.

Because yours is the kingdom
the manna, the food of life.
Because you are the food for our journey
the journey on the way where there is enough space for everyone,
and ever forever. Amen.



May we always hunger for justice;
may we overcome injustice that creates vulnerability.
May we always be thirsty for peace;
may we overcome insecurity, suffering and displacement.
May we always seek to care for one another and to protect the environment;
may we bear one another's burden;
may our prayers lead to concrete action and transformation.