Prayer for Those Seeking Shelter

Today we pray for those among us
who seek shelter every day.
Home is gone for them, for many reasons;
addiction, mental illness, violence,
or they just couldn’t pay the rent.
Evicted or just drifting, they wander.
Some live in their vehicle,
holding on to suitcases of possessions.
Others have left it all behind,
and with a bag or two 
go to shelters for a meal or a bed.
Others sleep rough, under bridges,
or in the hedges around the city.
People of no address,
they are forgotten by every social safety net.
No healthcare, no safety, few options.
These are the ones who are precious and loved in your sight.
You don’t lose track.
We see them sitting on the park benches,
or avoiding the cold in stairwells or subway cars.
God of miracles, can you change this “us and them”?
Can we call each other by name;
Jason, Mike, Emma, Rick, Carol?
As your children, can we meet and hear stories?
Instead of only a handout, can we sit together, 
lamenting what is lost, acknowledging resourcefulness.
From those with homes,
take away smugness and superiority,
and every hero complex of wanting to rescue those
we objectify into “the homeless”.
Open those who have plenty, to share it.
For those who are seeking shelter,
give courage and stamina.
When hope is hard to find,
help them find it.
For safety, for friends,
for community on the way,
we give thanks.
You identify with all who have
nowhere to lay their head.
You are with them this night,
you are with them every night. Amen.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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