Prayer Service - Nourishment for the Body and Soul

March-April 2019
By: Lori Ashmore-Ruppel

BY: LORI ASHMORE-RUPPEL

Leader: Let us recognize we are in the presence of God.

Reader 1: A reading from the book of Exodus 16:2-3, 12-15

Here in the wilderness the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.

The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died at the Lord's hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our kettles of meat and ate our fill of bread! But you have led us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of famine!"

The Lord said to Moses: "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them: In the evening twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will have your fill of bread, and then you will know that I, the Lord, am your God."

In the evening, quail came up and covered the camp. In the morning there was a layer of dew all about the camp, and when the layer of dew evaporated, fine flakes were on the surface of the wilderness, fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground.

On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, "What is this?" for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them, "It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat."

(Silence)

Leader: The Lord of Israel heard the grumbling of the people and provided for them. Jesus, the bread of life, calls all of us to action.

Reader 2: A reading from the Gospel of Matthew 25:33-35, 37, 40

He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink."

Then the righteous will answer him and say, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?'"

And the king will say to them in reply, "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me."

(Silence)

Leader: The gospel calls us to feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty, but we know that many will go without today, without access to healthy food and clean water. Let us take a moment to make our petitions known.

Reader 1: For those whose health is affected by limited access to food and water, that we work to create places for them to receive an abundance of life-giving nourishment, we pray to the Lord.

Response: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 1: For those who work tirelessly serving those most in need at food pantries and soup kitchens, may they be energized by your Spirit and the holy work they do, we pray to the Lord.

Response: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: Let us come to recognize our place in working for justice for those whose voices are not heard and needs not addressed in our community, we pray to the Lord.

Response: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: Let us come to truly appreciate the abundant gifts of the fruits of the earth you have given to us all and work to protect and steward the resources you provide, we pray to the Lord.

Response: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader:

Lord of all,

All good gifts come from you.

As you provided Israel with manna and quail, you give us food and water,

yet we know people are hungry and thirsty,

give us the grace to be your hands in the world,

to recognize our own abundance and ability to give,

to promote the right to healthy food and clean water,

to act with generosity and in solidarity not just in tragic moments but always.

In your name we pray,

Amen.

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