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Prayer for the World February 14, 2023


Wednesday Prayer for the World, February 14, 2024

Ash Wednesday



Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, a time of lengthening days, when each day we experience increasing light in the midst of darkness.  Today as ashes are placed on our foreheads in the shape of a cross, we are reminded of our share in Jesus’ suffering and the suffering of the world.  But we do not pray as ones without hope as we hear the words:  Repent and believe in the Gospel.



Stay with Us, O Lord Jesus Christ, Night will soon fall. 

And stay with us, O Lord Jesus Christ, Light in our Darkness. 


Focus for our Prayer

As we journey through Lent together, we focus on Migrants and the conditions of our earth as they travel through floods, parch lands, dangerous forests, and away from possible violence.  They seek new lands in which to rebuild their lives and find peace and justice. Men, women, children — from Central and South America, Africa, Asia and all the places from which people wander far from home.


The Director of Bethany House of Hospitality for women refugees in Chicago, shared in a recent newsletter the following examples of persons they serve:


  • Evelyn arrived on January 1; her 9-year-old sister, for whom she has been guardian since their mother’s death five years ago, arrived on January 10.  They had been separated at the border because they lacked proof of guardianship.

  • Baby Alan was born January 11 and spent two weeks in NICU.  He had seizures caused by brain lesions, possibly related to his mother’s fall from the top of a train when she was 3 months pregnant.

  • Rosemary (age 26 from Venezuela) arrived with two daughters and a newborn son.  They were referred by the social worker at Northwestern Hospital because the baby was due to be discharged from NICU.  She is the first referral because she reached the 60-day limit in city-funded shelters. 

Let us hold all refugees in our hearts and prayers as they seek a new life for themselves and their families.  Let us pray also for a change of heart for those who see refugees as a threat rather than as brothers and sisters in Christ.  And finally let us pray for ourselves, when we judge harshly those with whom we differ. 


Silent Prayer




During this Lent, let us rend our hearts, and become one with those who suffer. We pray for a new heart, a heart of flesh, that is one with all who seek peace, justice, healing and hope.   Response:  Hear us, O God.


For those who have been driven from their homes by violence, climate change or economic hardship, we pray.


For those who are wrongly imprisoned or even executed, and for those who turn a blind eye to this great injustice, we pray.


For those who cannot provide the basic needs for their families due to low wages and unjust policies, and for those who are indifferent to this injustice, we pray.


For those who are caught in the cruel business of human trafficking and for those who use human beings as a source of profit, that their hearts may be changed, we pray.


For those affected by gun violence, especially the children in our schools and their loved ones, we pray.


Let us pray. Help us compassionate and merciful God, to have the courage to take a long, loving look at what is and to find you there, with your people. Help us to see with new eyes, with eyes of hope, courage and above all, love. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.


Silent Prayer




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