"Is this not the fast which I choose...is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?" Isaiah 58:6-7
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor." Luke 4:18-19
"When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:36
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'" Matthew 25:35-40
"Fasting is turning your hunger pain into requests, prayers and petitions for the suffering around you. Today focus your prayers on those suffering close to you and those suffering throughout the world." —Gary Rohrmayer
Father in Heaven, today I turn my prayers towards all the suffering in our world. You are touched with the feelings of those who are hurting. As I fast, break my heart with what breaks yours. I need more compassion. Today, Lord, help me to identify in some way with those who are suffering.
Please make a way for food, clothing, shelter and medical help to reach those in critical need. Grant the first responders and all the workers your strength, wisdom, compassion and spiritual insight to care for those in need.
Father, thank you for the hundreds of thousands of dollars given to give water to the people of Sierra Leone, for the 100,000 children who are being fed every day in places like Haiti. Thank you that thousands of families in our own city are being helped physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Thank you for the generosity of your people at Heartland Church. I pray we will always be a community of love and maturity that will give disproportionately to create a safe place for the hurting and the hopeless. Safe places are so rare today, but you are still bringing people to safe places. That's what we want to be! May our church always be willing to literally be your hands and feet, loving people well. I pray these things in the merciful name of Jesus, Amen.