Pastoral Prayer for Darfur

Pastoral Prayer for Darfur

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The Rev. John Tamilio III
Sunday, October 12, 2008

God of arid deserts and of rainforests.
God who hurts when we are hurt,
who cries when we mourn, and
who stands as a living witness to the atrocities that unfold
on this planet you created to be a lush and serene paradise.
We lift our hands of supplication up to you
seeking your blessing on those whose backs are scorched by the sun,
on those who suffer under the interrogator’s lash,
and on those who search feverishly for nourishment.
And we ask, O God, that you fill our hands
with an impassioned resolve to hope beyond the confines of despair,
to enter into solidarity with those who suffer,
to be fully engaged in the struggle for liberation and justice
for all peoples victimized by the Caesars of the world.

We especially lift up to you this day, O God,
the victims of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan —
the rape, the torture, and the slaughter
that has broken bodies and shattered spirits.
We pray for those robbed of their childhood:
those left orphaned by an intolerance which breeds violence.
We pray for the widows who live through sleepless nights in terror
and for men detained with no representation or trial.

Remind us, O Holy One, that our fate is inextricably bound with theirs,
that we are unable to fully breathe the air of freedom
while others’ lungs are filled with the stench of enslavement.

Hear this, our prayer for hope and liberation,
that we lift up to you
in the name of the Resurrected One,
who taught us to pray together, saying —

Our Father and Mother, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.