Be a community of hope to one another

seek out best and bring out best in ourselves

Almighty God, we live in perilous times where men wearing masks of terror seek to rob us of all joy for living. Help us see that fear cannot survive where love exists, where we resolve with conviction of mind, body and soul that the darkness will not win. The light of love that is within all of us will be victorious because it is not the light of our humanity filled with its imperfections; it is the light of hope that You put there in each heart that has yet not given up, that believes that hate, inequality and indifference can be defeated if we remain steadfast, holding, clinging, praying for each other, being that caring hand that leads others to hope, to a new and more joy-filled and purpose-filled life.

Give us eyes to see that we still can have a more beautiful world as we do all we can to have more caring, more understanding, more giving hearts. When we see someone needing help, let us be willing to give with open and listening hearts as we reach out to those in need, to that neighbor who has lost their job and needs groceries, to that man with cerebral palsy or a physical and/or developmental challenge who serves his community and lives on disability, to that child asking their mother, “Mom, I’m hungry. Will we always be too poor to have enough to eat?”, to that struggling university or seminary student living with the crushing weight of debt, to the single mother working two jobs and going to college or university, to escape poverty so her family can have a better life, to that man, woman or teenager wanting to escape a life of addiction, to that child or teenager either thinking of going into a gang or already in one, to that mother dying a little more each day as she sees her child dying from malnutrition, to that person needing critical treatment for HIV or AIDS, to that one losing their memory from Alzheimers or dementia, to that person suffering from cancer, to that child or adult crying out for counseling to heal from the living hell of their abuse, to that lonely elderly woman asking for someone, anyone to come and spend even 15 minutes of our time, to that food bank that needs more volunteers and more food to serve families and individuals struggling, reaching out for anyone to come forward, to say I will be with you through your hardship. I will be there. I will not leave. I’ll be your hope until you can find your own again.

Lord, I felt Your call to develop an international poverty alleviation plan that works on the principle of people mentoring others towards going into a career. They then give a percentage of what they earn to be decided upon by a Board of Governors that goes into the operation of an international charitable foundation called Agape International Ministries (AIM). For example, a singer of promise mentored by a celebrity singer into a successful music career would give some of what they earn back into the operation of the foundation.This money goes into such areas as financing dream scholarships for people to go to the university of their choice,  money to pay for medications and treatments their government is not covering, to establish naturopathic hospitals that work in concert with conventional medicine and providing funds for micro financing projects in developing countries so people can start businesses that pull them and their families out of poverty.

This international foundation would step in with the permisssion of other charities and come along side them providing help in any way called upon where they cannot meet the need.

Lord, I ask that You who called upon me today to write this prayer will move in the hearts of those You want to start such an international charitable foundation to do so. I leave the timing of such an endeavour in Your hands.

Father, be with the leaders in our communities and throughout our world in government and in the Church. Guide them as they walk with You each day, as they deal with the many problems and challenges set before them. Break down walls of division wherever they exist. Move in our hearts to give us the willingness to resolve differences, to be that one who says, “I am wrong. I prayerfully ask for your forgiveness.”

Be with those in burnout from doing too much, from others demanding too much from them and from asking far too much of themselves. Bring people who will care for them and lead them out of their burnout before the process of doing so is too late.

Teach us to be more compassionate where we have failed to be loving, where we have been unkind and have not listened to those who need us, to the sick who need our time, to our families and all who need that shoulder to cry on, who need that hug to feel they are not alone, that we will never go away from them no matter how long they need us because we know, feel and believe that You are with us to give us the compassion and strength that will carry us as long as we are needed. Then, we can rest in Your arms of tender love as You restore our strength to serve You with a spirit that always is teachable, always is sensitive to the needs of others. .

Lord, there are so many faces of poverty which are etched with weariness and dying hope. If those in government leadership, those in the legislative branch who make the policies would just take time to hear the ideas from those within the system, those who play that dangerous game of Russian roulette of deciding on which medications they can afford and those they will have to do without, those who ask for training that leads to real jobs, not outdated training whose certificate of graduation is not worth the paper it is written on, those who plead, who ask us to be people who listen to them and find the way to give them the training they need to become taxpayers, to free as many people as we can from the miserable, agonizing, spirit-defeating, joy-stealing life sentence that is poverty,

We have been given the gift of those out-of-the-box thinkers who see a solution to a problem that others cannot. Let us embrace these people for from them and all people dedicated to alleviate poverty as much as possible there is realistic hope that can lead to government policies which meet their needs. We will have those who will cheat the system to get more help than they need, but we must not then say all people are like this because that is not the truth. What is the truth is that most people long, pray every day that someone or a group of people in community and in local churches would say, “We have decided to sponsor you for your university or seminary education. We believe in you. We see the potential you have. We only ask that as you have been given to that you would give back by serving in a community where your training will be needed.”

Teach us what we need to learn. Show us where we need to grow. Guide us in our life. Help us to remember that in our weakness we are made strong because we ask for Your strength, Your hope, Your light to live within us.

We can be a community of hope by teaching those in need that they are not weak asking for help. It takes strength of character to say when you need help, to cry out and say, “I need your support. I ask you to stand with me through the struggles I am going through.” It is in reaching out to others that we learn what it means to care, to share and to learn from each other as we share our financial blessings, as we share our heart and our life with those who need us.

It is as we reach out to one another that we learn what community means and how we grow as we are there for one another. That is how we all can be a community of hope.

Amen.

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