Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Prayer The Parish

Prayers of the People: A Litany on Welcoming the Stranger

compiled by Dr. Jason Myers

Litany on Welcoming the Stranger

During the season of Lent, we will spend time in our Prayers of the People acknowledging corporate sins in our world of which we need repentance and amendment of life. Today’s prayer is a litany on welcoming the stranger and the ways we often fail to do so. We heard from our New Testament reading in 2 Corinthians today, that in Christ we regard no one from a human point of view, but celebrate the new creation of God’s divine family. We are reconciled to God and are reconciled with one another.

After each prayer, we will say Lord in your mercy and you can respond with hear our prayer.  With these prayers, we as a community ask for God’s redemptive presence in the church, world, community and individual lives. And we offer our own lives to God’s mission of healing and reconciliation in the world. Let us pray.

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Oh God who loves all of his world, we remember Abraham and Sarah who did not know whether their visitors meant harm or good, still they opened their tent in welcome, and they were blessed. From the stranger, we hear the good news of God’s covenant love.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

When the people of Israel were strangers in Egypt, only as valuable as the bricks they produced for Pharaohs’ economy, God heard their cry and saved them. When we are strangers, we come to know a God who frees us.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember, the man lay dying on the Jericho road until the strange and reviled Samaritan came to his aid and in sharing his resources gave a picture of your love. From the stranger, we receive help and healing.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Oh Christ, you remind us that you are hidden in the face of the stranger, for you said “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.” In the stranger, you assure us that we can experience your presence, Lord Christ. Help us to welcome the stranger, the hungry, and those without homes in our lives and in welcoming them help us to welcome you.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember before God all those who have been uprooted from their homes and communities – people who are compelled to flee for their lives, to leave their land and culture, and live apart from their families. With them, we mourn their loss of dignity, community, and resources.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We especially pray for the women who are the majority of those displaced. We remember the work that women do to keep families together, to nurture community and end violence and injustice.  We also remember the millions of children whose lives are marked by danger and exploitation.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember those who are persecuted because of their gender, race, or creed. We pray for the women, the men, the children, and the elderly, who seek safety and solace, who desire to begin new lives.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember before God those countries where people must leave their homes because of war, injustice, and violence. We pray that you protect their courageous travel, shelter them in your mercy, and may they find open arms to welcome them in safety.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who leave their homes for economic survival; we remember that the gap between rich and poor gets wider, and the earth’s resources are shared by fewer people. May we be the generous people you call us to be and seek to show them your blessing.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember before God those who leave their homes because of earthquakes, storms floods, and other disasters. We acknowledge the exploitation of resources for the sake of consumers in other countries and mourn for those who have been hurt by poor stewardship of creation.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray that hostility and indifference may give way to hospitality and justice. Help us to be vigilant stewards and faithful partners, and strengthen us to live as people of your creation, committed and bold in deeds of justice. Oh Lord, may we welcome the stranger as you have welcomed us.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God, you taught us through your Son to seek the signs of your reign in the tiny mustard seed. Plant your word deep in the soil of our hearts, sow in us the seeds of compassion; let your hospitality take root within us, and your compassion grow in us, so righteousness may spring forth in all the world, and your holy will be done through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

One thought on “Prayers of the People: A Litany on Welcoming the Stranger

Comments are closed.

Back To Top