249 in number, just in our community, each one precious, precious Lord in your sight. And there are even more who live on the edge of becoming homeless themselves, who go to bed hungry, who do not have the things we take so much for granted like clothing, food, toys. Help these kids, O God. Comfort them, fill them, give them hope, and let them know that when all else fails, you are there to hold us in your very hands, to wrap your arms around us. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
O God, we realize this issue is much larger than children, that it effects parents and families and other adults. But we are still all your children, and you ask us to care for those in need, to be Jesus, to work for systemic change and justice. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
O God, homelessness touches on so many issues, and we would be blind if we did not realize that many people are hurting in our community. There are addictions and mental illness and even abuse, wounds that can leave scars and lasting effects. Though we take love for granted in our families, we know there are some who have not felt that love. We ask for understanding and love; we ask for direction on the path that leads to healing and wholeness, which often offers hard choices. Help those who are wounded in body and spirit, their families and friends. Grant us the wisdom to find the path that leads to life and the courage to walk it even when it is hard. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
O God, we pray for the caregivers, for the folks who work with the least of these, who offer assistance and work for change. We lift up Zelinda Richards and her work, her calling, her ministry to help these children and their families. We pray for all the counselors, the teachers, coaches, and principals to help them act in a way that manifests your love. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
O God, we give thanks for all the ways care is offered in our community, for Eagle Locker. As Isaiah tells us, “a child shall lead us,” and we ask your continued blessing on this program where kids are helping other kids. And we hear their mantra, saying to us, “be the change you wish to see.” For the Georgetown Project which assists GISD, The Caring Place and all the care they offer, for the Backpack Buddy Program that sends food home with our children. For all the churches and organizations and groups, from every food drive to every item donated, we thank you, O Lord, and ask your continued motivation in our lives to care, to care as Jesus taught, as Jesus did. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
O God, we also give thank for the people who mentor children, for the programs that help them with their homework, build their character, instill a positive self-image, inspire them to dream and play and hope. We lift up the Georgetown Project, the Boys and Girls club and every after school program, for the mentor project through Partners in Education. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
O God, we recognize the need for an Eagles Nest, a safe haven for our children. We ask your help to get one established. We need help; we need funding, we need help just finding a location for the shelter, help simply with an awareness that such a safe haven, if only on a temporary basis, is so needed in Georgetown. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
O God, we pray for our leaders, our elected officials, to work to address this issue. Help us to lift up this issue, to bring it into their sight, to shine your glorious light into all the dark places, even places we’d rather not see in order that your grace and goodness, your love and justice might flow through our community. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
O God, we pray for our society that will not just offer compassion, but systemic change that addresses these issues, that brings about justice, that recognizes that all of your children have the basic right to food, clothing, shelter, basic right to hope. We pray that as Georgetown grows, we will be mindful of people of all economic brackets, that there will be affordable housing, and room will be made for those on the margin. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer.
And O God, though we pray asking that you comfort your people, make your grace known to us in real and substantial ways, and always offer us the hope of life through Jesus Christ, I also ask that you make us uncomfortable, that the despicable injustice that a child does not have a place to sleep at night will jar us to the core of our being, challenging us not just to pray with our hearts tonight, but to pray with action—to work and volunteer and build a community in accordance with your Kingdom. Stir our souls, ignite a passion for compassion, make us uncomfortable with the status quo that we might see you glorified through our work for a better world. And as small and inadequate as we are, as humble as we try to be, empower us with your Holy Spirit which strengthens that your will be done in Georgetown. God in your mercy … Hear our prayer. Amen.