World Prayers for May 29 – June 4: Botswana and Zimbabwe

May 27, 2016
Victoria Falls at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Stephen Padre/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 May 29 – June 4: Botswana and Zimbabwe

In December 1998, the World Council of Churches held its Eighth Assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city. Christians from around the world gathered to celebrate their unity and make it more visible. The following was a vision and prayer for the assembly:

We long for the visible oneness of the body of Christ,
affirming the gifts of all,
young and old, women and men, lay and ordained.

We expect the healing of human community,
the wholeness of God's entire creation.

We trust in the liberating power of forgiveness,
transforming enmity into friendship
and breaking the spiral of violence.

We are challenged by the vision of a church
that will reach out to everyone,
sharing, caring, proclaiming the good news of God's redemption,
a sign of the kingdom and a servant of the world.

We are challenged by the vision of a church,
the people of God on the way together,
confronting all divisions of race, gender, age or culture,
striving to realize justice and peace,
upholding the integrity of creation.

We journey together as a people with resurrection faith.
In the midst of exclusion and despair,
we embrace, in joy and hope, the promise of life in all its fullness.

We journey together as a people of prayer.
In the midst of confusion and loss of identity,
we discern signs of God's purpose being fulfilled
and expect the coming of God's reign.

And a simple prayer for Zimbabwe and Botswana as we enter the season of Pentecost, taken from a traditional Zimbabwean hymn:

If you believe and I believe
And we together pray,
The Holy Spirit must come down
And set God’s people free,
And set God’s people free,
And set God’s people free;
The Holy Spirit must come down
And set God’s people free.

Together we pray that God's people will be set free from hunger. Amen.

Percentage of the population of these countries living below the national poverty line:

Botswana: 19.3
Zimbabwe: 72.3

Source: World Bank World Development Indicators as found in the 2016 Hunger Report.

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

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