This prayer litany for leader and congregation was originally written for World AIDS Day, which takes place each December 1. However, this is not an issue that should be relegated to one particular day each year, but one that the Church prays about regularly, interceding for all those affected by this epidemic. We need to confess our own complacency and unwillingness to get involved, reach out, care for, and advocate on behalf of the 33.4 million people who live with HIV/AIDS. Particularly in Africa, much can be done to prevent the spread of AIDS, but if we keep quiet, little will be accomplished. As Christ asks: “Who is your neighbor?” —JB
People of God, you are the body of Christ. You are many parts, but one body.
Each of us is a part of it.
There should be no division in the body, but its parts should have equal concern for each other.
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. (1 Cor. 12:20-27)
Lord our God, today we remember specifically those parts of your body who suffer with HIV/AIDS, and we suffer with them.
In your mercy, hear our prayer.
We bring before you those in this room who say these words together with us but who are also tormented by HIV/AIDS in their own body or in someone they love. Protect them from the rejection that this disease carries; bring your restoration to their hearts, minds, and bodies; and fill them with your love.
Together with each of them, we are one body. Let us know their suffering as if it were our own. May we extend love to them with each gift you have given to us. Come quickly, Lord, to help us.
We bring before you those victims of HIV/AIDS in your church worldwide. We ask that each man, woman, and child will find hope in you and acceptance in your body, the church.
Together with each of them, we are one body. Let us know their suffering as if it were our own and show love and concern for them as if they were our sister or brother, mother or father, son or daughter. Come quickly, Lord, to help us.
Your love extends beyond our congregations to those who do not know you. We bring before you the 33 million people worldwide who are ravaged by this disease.
As your loving hands touched the lepers and made them clean, let us be your hands, reaching out to those who are feared and rejected because of HIV/AIDS. Let us also be your hands of healing.
We pray for children who are orphaned by this disease. May you be their refuge.
As you invited the children to come before you, may we also welcome and care for them.
We lift before you especially the poor who suffer with HIV/AIDS. Help us to break down the walls that prevent them from receiving proper medical care or treatment. Help us to bring education and prevention to places that need it. Help us to bring your love and acceptance to those who suffer alone.
As your ears hear the cry of the oppressed and as you defend them, may our ears hear their cries and may our mouths speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. May we defend the rights of the poor and needy. (Ps. 10:18; Prov. 3:8-9)
All: May we not turn away from our own flesh and blood. (Is. 58:7)
By the Numbers
The latest statistics on the global HIV and AIDS epidemic were published by UNAIDS in November 2009 (www.avert.org/worldstats.htm) and refer to 2008.
- People living with HIV/AIDS: 33.4 million
- Adults living with HIV/AIDS: 31.3 million
- Women living with HIV/AIDS: 15.7 million
- Children living with HIV/AIDS: 2.1 million
- AIDS deaths: 2.0 million
- Child AIDS deaths: 0.28 million
- More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981.
- Africa has over 14 million AIDS orphans.
- Women accounted for 50 percent of all adults living with HIV.
- In developing and transitional countries, 9.5 million people are in immediate need of life-saving AIDS drugs; of these, only 4 million (42 percent) are receiving the drugs.