Church Action on Poverty Sunday: prayers from Sunningwell

Voices from the Margins logo no straplineSt Leonard’s Church in Sunningwell, Oxfordshire, held a service recently to mark Church Action on Poverty Sunday. They kindly agreed to share their prayers with us here.

Father we bring to you our prayers both of thanks and for your intercession… with a focus on Lent approaching and conscious that this is also Church Action on Poverty Sunday.
Help us to think about those in poverty across the globe but particularly in this country … one of the richest in the world but still blighted by huge divisions between rich and poor – those who have much, and those who have relatively little.
Today is Church Action on Poverty Sunday… check out the website of this ecumenical charity dedicated to tackling the root causes of poverty… read through a few case studies or YouTube clips… sobering.
We live not only in a rich country but one with a welfare state which spends billions on health and social care. Nonetheless the number of people within our own local communities here in Oxfordshire, who are in rent arrears or debt, in temporary and squalid accommodation, who suffer mental health problems or alcohol or drug abuse and have become increasingly dependent on food banks and local charity is deeply alarming.
Father, we pray for the desperately poor and downtrodden – particularly for young children and the old or infirm… and we ask for guidance as to how we might help or contribute, to use the gifts and talents you have bestowed upon us.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.
Lord Jesus – when someone gives food to the hungry, welcomes a stranger, clothes the poor or cares for the sick – they are really doing it for you.
Father, enable us first to listen to the voices of those we desire to assist and to welcome…those who are on the margins, because in their strength and love and endurance, they are your voice, your words for us today.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.