Faith & Worship Faith & Worship

Prayers about human rights

A reminder that in God's eyes we are all created equal

barbed wire'He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.' (Micah 6:8 NIV)

'Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.' (Proverbs 31:8-9 NIV)

'Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. (Colossians 3:11 NIV)

God of peace, breath on this fractured world
and heal the divisions that grow daily wider.
Breathe on leaders, that they might respect
the right of all human beings to live in peace.
Breathe on those who hate, opening the hand
clenched in a fist, that it might embrace.
Breathe on the influential, that their power
might be used for the common good of all.
Breathe on the individual, and bring freedom
from conflict, and a life that’s free from fear.
God of peace, breath on this fractured world.

For all who struggle
to find their identity
in a world that tries,
often without success,
to find a suitable box
in which to fit them,
grant them courage
to become the people
you want them to be,
not constrained
by this world’s wisdom
but allowed to grow
and become themselves
in your Spirit’s power.

In an often divisive world
where religious voices
invoke your name
to justify so much
that is unjustifiable,
help us remember
we are all your children -
banker or beggar,
homeowner or refugee,
overweight or underfed,
newly born or getting old -
and your love extends to all,
as indeed should ours.
May our voices and our lives
express nothing that divides,
but simply shares your love
so graciously poured down for us.

Wherever believers struggle
to declare their faith openly
without risking prosecution,
keep them safe, and if words
cannot be spoken, may lives
speak of your gracious love,
and this, your unspoken truth,
touch both mind and soul
as your gentle Spirit flows
from one heart to another.

Breathe peace into this world,
to dispel the heated rhetoric
and divisive words that serve
only to fan the flames of hate.
Breathe peace into cold hearts,
as a warming breeze to waken
the seed of love that sits inside,
waiting to germinate and grow.
Breathe peace into this world.

Keep safe the vulnerable
in our towns and cities;
the no-fixed-abode,
rough sleeping,
cold and hungry,
enslaved and exploited,
depressed, suicidal,
the elderly, lonely
and almost invisible.
Bless those who help
with food and clothing,
shelter and counselling.
Increase our awareness
and concern for their needs,
these, your vulnerable children.

Merciful God, help this world,
consumed as it is with greed,
arrogance and self-interest,
to realise that those outside -
the poor, homeless, outcast,
exploited and marginalised -
are our equals in your eyes,
and as brothers and sisters
equally deserving of our care.
Let us not forget to whom
your love and healing touch
brought such transformation,
the hungry, blind, lost and lame,
and look for opportunities
to do likewise in your name.

In your kingdom, Lord,
there are no differences
between rich and poor,
have and have-not,
male and female,
adult and child.
All are accepted
as equal in value,
loved and respected
for the people they are,
embraced for the life
that they share with you.
May it be so here, Lord,
within our families,
schools, workplaces,
cities, towns and villages,
and be reflected in the lives
of those who govern this land.

Forgive us when we talk about
refugees and victims of atrocities
in so many parts of this world
simply in terms of numbers,
rather than mothers, fathers,
boys and girls, babes in arms,
lost homes and livelihoods
and the dead they have left behind.
So many individual tragedies,
so many broken lives to rebuild.
May your love surround them
and hardened hearts be softened
to the plight of these, your children,
God of compassion and mercy, we pray.

Loving God, bless those who,
through no fault of their own,
are refugees from warfare,
violence, neglect or abuse,
and now find themselves adrift
in a world that does not know
how best to deal with them -
these visible, and invisible
victims of a fractured world,
that needs to experience both
your forgiveness and your love.

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Copyright © John Birch, 2016 · Prayers written by the author may be copied freely for worship. If reproduced anywhere else please include acknowledgement to the author/website  ·  We use cookies, but only to track visits to our website. No personal information is stored.