11 Blessings and Prayers for 11 Days of Mission: 1
That they may all be one. As all of the United Church of Christ lives into the Mission:1 project to feed the hungry and confront food-related injustice, we pray for blessings on our efforts during these eleven days.
Blessings for the Earth
"I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food." ~Genesis 1:29
We humbly lift up prayers of blessings upon the earth that the Holy One has provided for us. May we sow and harvest the land in a way that is pleasing to God. May we use what the earth has produced to bless those in need who come to us with outstretched hands.
Blessings for the laborer
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." ~Matthew 11:28:
We could not harvest what God has given us if not for the hands and feet of the farmer…the laborer. We pray for all who labor and toil in the fields and give thanks for those who work the land for the benefit of the common good.
Blessings for those who know hunger
"There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread." ~Mohandas K. Gandhi
Around the world, and around the corner, there are far too many hungry people. On this third day of Mission: 1, we pray, O God, for blessings to be poured out on them. May you fill their cups and sustain them. We also pray for those who desire to help– may you provide them a way.
Blessings for those who provide
"Food – there"s no greater gift..."~Dikembe Mutombo
Whether it's the single mother working two jobs so her children can eat, or the church that opens its food pantry every week: on this fourth day of Mission:1, we pray for all who provide for their families, friends and those in need.
Blessings for those who innovate
"Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life?" ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
For those minds who create innovative ways to grow and provide easier and more affordable access to food, we offer blessings and prayers. On this fifth day of Mission:1, we pray that such innovation will continue until no person suffers from hunger.
Blessings for those who volunteer
"As we give of our time, talents and resources to tend the needs of the sick, offer food to the hungry and teach the dependent to stand on their own, we enrich ourselves spiritually beyond our ability to comprehend." ~Joseph B. Wirthlin
For those who give their time so freely and have a willing heart to serve, we offer prayers of blessing and thanksgiving. On this sixth day of Mission:1, the world’s volunteers are a gracious reminder that the war on hunger can be won, as long as we do it together.
Blessings for those who prepare
"The freedom of man, I contend, is the freedom to eat." ~Eleanor Roosevelt
For every meal that is served, there is someone who prepared it. On this seventh day of Mission: 1, we pray and ask for blessings upon those who prepare the meal, and remember with gratitude the hands and hearts at work.
Blessings for those who serve
"Well-fed people can enhance their dignity, their health and their learning capacity." ~Luiz Lula da Silva
From the fast food register to the diner on the corner, many people find their source of food by working in food service. On this eighth day of Mission: 1, we pray for those who serve. For all the cashiers, bus-persons, hostesses and waiters, may we remember their need for food as they attend to ours.
Blessings for those who give
"If you want to eliminate hunger, everybody has to be involved." ~Bono
For every item of food donated and every dollar given, a person who is hungry can be fed. On this ninth day of Mission:1 we thank those who give to food programs around the world and down the street. We are thankful for whatever is donated, no matter the amount!
Blessings for those who must fight for food
"All sorrows are less with bread." ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
On this tenth day of Mission: 1, we remember that for many, the journey to acquire food runs straight through a war-zone, and the ability to eat comes at the expense of someone’s life. We pray and ask blessings for those who must risk their lives for a piece of bread.
Blessings for those who fight on behalf of the hungry
"The war against hunger is truly mankind's war of liberation." ~John F. Kennedy
From the lobbyists to the protestor, from the silent supporter to the freedom fighter, on this eleventh day of Mission: 1, we pray for all who fight on behalf of the hungry. We ask that their work be blessed by God so that they may continue to fight for those who go to sleep each night hungry.
Grace I believe that grace at table is a dying art, a practice that more and more of us see as something that PK’s have foisted upon them by their minister parents, and which nobody else need bother with.