Congregational Prayer: Lord's Prayer

Here’s a congregational prayer based on the prayer Jesus taught his disciples (Matthew 6: 9-13, Luke 11: 2-4). It comes from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

A Collective Prayer
based on the Lord’s Prayer
(Matthew 6: 9-13, Luke 11: 2-4)

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…
We approach your holiness with empty stomachs,
opening our hearts to the people here in Canada
and around the world who have this feeling every day.

May your kingdom come…
And unite us in faith. 
Turn the tables to inspire our imagination for change.
Reveal your truth to us,
replacing our ignorance and greed with justice and mercy.

May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…
Let your love enter our hearts, our communities, our nation,
and give us joy in our work as we share the abundance of your creation.

Give each of us this day, our daily bread…
Nourish everyone, everywhere—
in rural areas, in cities, towns, farms and reserves,
those who rely on food aid in refugee camps,
in food banks or soup kitchens.

Forgive us our trespasses…
We lament our disconnectedness. 
We tune out the injustice around us and forget the dispossessed,
those displaced by natural disaster,
the hungry used as an instrument of war,
the fertile soil lost to pollution, landmines, flooding or drought,
the loss of indigenous knowledge and of species.

Just as we forgive those who trespass against us…
Teach us mercy. 
In a world where the rules benefit the rich
but create real suffering for the poor,
teach us to be forgiving and compassionate
without losing our sense of urgency for change.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…
Guide those who set prices, regulate markets,
and who control land at a time when competition for natural resources
threatens the ethics of those who plant, process, transport,
prepare and serve food in the world.

For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever…
We acknowledge you as the ultimate authority
over leaders and citizens of all nations.
 Instruct those who have earthly powers to submit to your will,
to do justly, and to love mercy.

Generous and holy God,
inspire us with your love,
challenge us with your truth,
and empower us with your strength
to build a world without hunger.

~ from Fast for Change Resource Kit 2008, published by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank