Creator God, we give you thanks for calling us as stewards. Open our eyes to the intricacies of creation. Help us feel the textures of the world. Unstop our ears that we may hear your Word. Breathe into us the sweet aromas of life, that we may taste the fruits of your promise even now;
Even now, O God, even in Africa.
Africa. Where your church grows rapidly. Where faith is exuberant. Where a bright mosaic of culture shows the world the vibrancy of your love.
But where there is also pain, and famine, and thirst. Where violent unrest and ethnic strife fill so many lives and resist the unity our Savior brings.
Help us to stand with those who suffer, respond when we are called, give in appropriate ways so that wells will not run dry, creeping deserts may be slowed, and the chains of despair may be removed. Help us to bring the gospel, that your realm may be realized, even now;
Even now, O God, even in Asia.
Asia. So vast, so deeply rooted in tradition. Where your church is small but where religion is great. Gentle Asia, beautiful Asia, troubled Asia.
God of wisdom, teach us respect. Help us to learn from those who express their faith in different ways. Deepen our understanding of tradition, serenity, and prayer. Help us in this ancient land to witness meaningfully to the saving power of your Son.
Awaken us to systemic issues that increase despair and prolong poverty. Guide us in responsible stewardship, that your reign may extend throughout the world, even now;
Even now, O God, even in the Middle East.
The Middle East. The cradle of the church; the birthplace of our Lord; the land we call holy. Where the pain of the cross is so vivid; where the dry earth is watered by the tears of its children.
Show us again that we cannot feed the hungry with threats. We cannot quench thirst with religious intolerance. We cannot build for the future on sands of hate.
Lift us above strife. Infuse us with mutual respect, that the captives might be freed, that the frightened might be comforted. Lift us, loving God, as you lifted the stone from your Son's tomb. Make us joyous witnesses of his victory over death. Show us your grace, even now;
Even now, O God, even in Europe.
Europe and its magnificent Christian heritage. Where art, music, and architecture inspire generation upon generation with the beauty and the majesty of your gospel message.
Where the dramatic change in recent days has brought poverty and violence, displacing whole communities into a desperate present and an uncertain future. Where entire peoples have fallen away from faith in you.
God of grace, help us to believe and tmst in your eternal promise. Point us toward the pathway of peace. Answer Jesus' prayer that all may be one in him, even now;
Even now, O God, even in Latin America.
Latin America. Where your church struggles valiantly for the weak and the poor. Where martyrs are made. In Latin America, so rich in the bounties of creation, so misused by outsiders. In Latin America, where we have made mistakes in your name and brought a gospel soiled with our greed.
Your servants in Latin America have taught us by example. Kindle within our hearts our own integrity of faith. Inspire within us a new sense of your church.
Make us aware that through such commitment, your peace and justice will be revealed, not in some distant time and place, but also right now, right here;
Here, O God, in North America, even here.
North America. Where so much affluence hides so much poverty and disease. North America, the sometimes hollow land, with so much to give. Make us bold in your Spirit, but humble in our work. Help us share your grace in Word and deed. Help us assume the servant's role as Jesus did. Help us share our blessings as the Samaritan did. Help us to put ourselves in others' shoes, sandals, mountain boots, and to walk in the footsteps of bare and calloused feet.
Here, O God, and throughout all the earth, we trust in your abiding care. We pledge ourselves to a deepened commitment in your name. Amen.
Adapted from One Great Hour of Sharing, Congregational Ministries Division of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40402-1326. Used by permission.