Prayer in the Context of Homelessness

Today we pray for those among us who seek shelter every day.
Home is gone for them, for many reasons;
they are fleeing violence, or they couldn’t pay the rent,
sometimes it was addiction or mental illness.
So now they wander, seeking shelter.
Some live in their vehicles, holding on to some possessions.
Others have left it all behind, and with a bag or two 
go to shelters for a meal or a bed, taking their children with them.
Others sleep rough, under bridges, or in the bushes around the city.
Hear our prayer for those who fall under the wheels of our economy.

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Prayer for People who are Homeless in Our City

The sun rises and people head out from the shelter
to spend the day on the streets.
We pray for kindness in an unfair world,
safety from harm and aid for those who are sick.
Every person has their story.
Jesus, you too were a wanderer,
travelling far from family:
be with those who feel lonely today.
We ask for basic things:
food to sustain,
comfortable dry places to rest,
and for the compassion of strangers….

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Coming Coldness Congregational Prayer

Creator God,
thank you that you order the change of the seasons.
Thank you for the great upheaval that is fall.
Billions of trees dropping every leaf.
Birds heaving themselves across oceans to warmer continents.
Animals burrowing, amphibians tunnelling, everyone going deep
to escape the coming coldness.
All of this orchestrated by you.
Be with us in these changing times.
We pray for people without shelter,
or who have to choose between being warm and being fed.
Give workers in social service agencies patience and compassion.
Give politicians in government the will to help.
Open our hearts to help our neighbours.

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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,

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Unbreakable Love Prayer

Thank you, God, for your love which does not break down;

and for Jesus Christ who extended love to the lowest and the least.

Thank you for that love which continues to rise from the dead,

breaking out of places where we see only death and destruction.

Love’s new life breaking out in a thousand thousand places,

who knows how–a tide of love, working through all people of good will,

working through your church.

And in spite of all that, we still break down.
We break promises we’ve made, we break trust with those we love.
We confess that there is brokenness in many families,
and we need your help.
We confess that our communities fail vulnerable people,
and that there are people we pass by on the street…

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Prayer for People who are Homeless

Hear our prayer today for all women and men, boys and girls who are homeless this day.

For those sleeping under bridges, on park benches, in doorways or bus stations.

For those who can only find shelter for the night but must wander in the daytime.

For families broken because they could not afford to pay the rent.

For those who have no relatives or friends who can take them in.

For those who have no place to keep possessions that remind them who they are.

For those who are afraid and hopeless.

For those who have been betrayed by our social safety net.

For all these people, we pray that you will provide shelter, security and hope….

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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 www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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