World Prayers for Feb. 7-13: Ireland; United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales

February 5, 2016
Glenarm, a village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Dalyce Wilson for Bread for the World.

Bread for the World believes prayer is central to the work of ending hunger by 2030. Hunger happens in every corner of the world. In this blog series, we will provide a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.

This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.

We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.

We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of Feb. 7-13: Ireland; United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales

Lord, you made the world and everything in it; 
you created the human race of one stock 
and gave us the earth for our possession. 
Break down the walls that separate us and unite us in a single body.

Lord, we have been divisive in our thinking, 
in our speech, in our actions; 
we have classified and imprisoned one another; 
we have fenced each other out by hatred and prejudice. 
Break down the walls that separate us and unite us in a single body.

Lord, you mean us to be a single people, 
ruled by peace, feasting in freedom, freed from injustice, 
truly human, men and women, 
responsible and responsive 
in the life we lead, 
the love we share, 
the relationships we create. 
Break down the walls that separate us and unite us in a single body.

Lord, we shall need ever new insights into the truth, 
awareness of your will for all humanity, 
courage to do what is right even when it is not allowed, 
persistence in undermining unjust structures until they crumble into dust, 
grace to exercise a ministry of reconciliation. 
Break down the walls that separate us and unite us in a single body.

Lord, share out among us the tongues of your Spirit 
that we may each burn with compassion for all 
who hunger for freedom and human dignity; 
that we may be doers of the word and so speak with credibility about the 
wonderful things you have done. 
Lord, direct us in ways we do not yet discern and equip us for the service of reconciliation and liberation in your world.
(Risk magazine, vol. II, no. 2-3, 1975, WCC.)

Percentage of the gross national income of these countries that goes toward poverty-focused development:

Ireland: 0.39
United Kingdom: 0.71
United States: 0.19 (for comparison)

Source: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Prayer is a central part of Bread for the World’s work. Learn more about how you can get involved with prayer at Bread.

Photo: Glenarm, a village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Dalyce Wilson for Bread for the World.

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