World Prayers for June 5 – 11: Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland

June 3, 2016
Lutheran Development Service distributes food to people affected by drought in Swaziland. 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 June 5 – 11: Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland

Psalm 139

Lord, you have examined me and you know me. 
You know everything I do; 
from far away you understand all my thoughts. 
You see me, whether I am confessing or denying you. 
Even before I speak, 
you already know what I will say. 
You are all around me on every side; 
you protect me with your power. 
Your knowledge of me is too deep, 
for you knew me before I was born; 
and this is beyond my understanding. 
It is very dangerous to serve you in this world, 
but where can I go to escape 
from being the instrument of your peace? 
What far place can I flee to, 
without confessing you? 

If I withdraw myself into “neutrality”, 
you would be there; 
if I go into my office to hide behind my typewriter 
you would be there; 
if I take refuge in the farthest country 
away from the oppression of my people, 
you would be there, 
to remind me of what I promised you. 
I could ask the darkness of my pain and humiliation 
to cover me, 
or the light of your love in my life 
to turn into darkness; 
but even the night of my suffering 
dissolves in the light of your presence.  

You created me in your image and loved me 
even before my mother conceived me. 
I praise you, 
what you do is so wonderful 
and above our human understanding. 

Examine me, O God, and change my mind; 
test me, and clean my thoughts. 
Start the revolution in my life, 
create me anew, 
and guide me in the everlasting way.
(© Elijah Hlale, Lesotho.)

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

Lesotho: 57.1
Namibia: 28.7
South Africa: 53.8
Swaziland: 63.0

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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