A season for prayer and advocacy

August 28, 2018

By Angelique Walker-Smith

Did you know that severe drought and civil conflict have pushed millions of people into near-famine condition in Africa and the Middle East? Are you prepared to advocate for elected leadership that will stand in solidarity with those most affected by hunger and poverty?

If so, Bread for the World Sunday on Oct. 21 is the perfect opportunity to get engaged and to live out God’s vision of a world without hunger.

“In the weeks ahead, voters and our elected officials will make decisions that will affect the 1 in 8 U.S. families who struggle to get enough to eat. People of African descent are disproportionately affected by these decisions and issues of hunger and poverty.”

“In addition to our prayers — following the example of Nehemiah, who used letters from the king to support his efforts to rebuild Jerusalem — we can use our letters to Congress to advocate for the well-being of all people.”

These timely excerpts, written by faith writers of African descent for this year’s Bread for the World Sunday, convey the importance of your prayerful servant heart and advocacy with and for those affected by hunger and poverty, especially in our Pan-African communities.

Bishop Don Williams says in his sermon note reflection: “Jesus had to remind them that those who desire to be great must be a servant of all.”

Dr. Kathleen Dorsey Bellow reminds us that we are not alone in our prayers of a servant heart. Her responsive litany of prayer entitled, “O God, Help Us to Follow Your Will,” invites individuals, churches, and groups to pray and act collectively. She tells us that God already knows who you are and what your needs are. Still, we should know that God is waiting for us to take up our role as disciples of Christ. She states that when we do this, “we will recognize God as the source of all power and perceive ourselves — no matter our age, situation or station in life — as empowered by God to work for righteousness and join with others to uphold the common good.”

This year’s resource materials also include contributions from a young adult Pan-African faith leader. Rev. Jonathon D. Counts offers a responsive prayer, which serves as a litany for reminding us that “God’s Gracious Hand is upon us!”

His prayer petitions God to lead, guide, and direct us to help us center and refocus our work.

Angelique Walker-Smith is senior associate for Pan-African and Orthodox Church Engagement at Bread for the World.

Jesus had to remind them that those who desire to be great must be a servant of all.

from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Conflict and Fragility Are Hunger Issues

    Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict.

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.

    The Bible on...

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

For Advocacy


African at Heart

November 22, 2019


From the Blog