Our family is taking time daily to pray about the current global health crisis. Our prayers will likely reference the Christian tradition, but we’ve written with an ecumenical and agnostic audience in mind.
If you’d like us to pray for you, let us know. If you’d like us to write a prayer for you or for a concern you have and share it here, just ask. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, and we won’t share it or any other identifying details about you here or elsewhere.
Today we pray for people who are hungry or who live with food insecurity, unsure of a steady source of food.
Today we pray for all people around the globe who are hungry, who fear hunger, or who live with food insecurity.
We pray for those we don’t know and for those we do, including [names of people we know who are hungry, including ourselves].
We pray for relief from the pain of hunger and for the fear it creates. We pray for peace in the face of anxiety about having enough. We pray for dignity in times of need. We pray for generosity to flow through communities and societies, but, more, for solidarity. We pray that the hunger pang that one person feels is felt by all.
We pray for those who work in agriculture and for those who work in food processing, production, and distribution. We pray for fair, humane, and safe treatment of all those who labor to feed others. We pray for farm laborers, meat packers, grocery store workers, and all others who participate in our food system. We pray for just food systems, ones that honor work, the environment, and animal life. We pray for a system that places human need above profit.
We pray for those who serve in soup kitchens, food pantries, WIC and SNAP offices. We pray for them tender hearts and encouraging words. We pray for those who prepare and share school lunches with children and families. We pray for them stamina, good health, and generous spirits.
We pray for those who hunger around the world, from those who are first encountering it to those who are long acquainted with it. We pray for the 821 million people worldwide who are chronically hungry and the many more who are at risk of a hunger pandemic related to the spread of the coronavirus. We pray for those in the Horn of Africa, where drought, flooding, and locusts have decimated crops. We pray for those in Yemen who face hunger due to war. We pray for those in North Korea, where drought and lack of farming supplies shrunk agriculture production last year. We pray for for farmers, policy makers, and families, especially pregnant women and young children, in Afghanistan, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, and Syria. We pray for their bodies and their spirits, for them as individuals who are at risk of hunger, for families where the risk of violence and abuse increase because of hunger, and for societies vulnerable to violence due to hunger.
We pray, too, for those for whom a return of hunger or the threat of it is a reminder of past famine, suffering, or abuse. We pray for them comfort, confidence, and assurance.
We are thankful to live in a world where there is enough to meet every need. We seek to make a world where every need is met because every life is valued.
Above, Antoine Wiertz’s Famine, Madness, Crime (1853) shows a woman seated on the floor between a hearth and a table. An overturned basket on the table is nearly empty of food; a turnip or beet has fallen to the floor below. The woman’s left breast is revealed, as if she has been nursing the child on her lap. She holds a bloody knife in her right hand. The child is bundled in a cloth, a red stain has soaked through it. The first beneath the hearth is fed by what appear to be wooden chair legs–perhaps of the chair she should be sitting on rather than on the floor. The infant’s leg sticks out from the pot.