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Prayer Litany for those in crisis

When did we ever see You…?
(based on Matthew 25:31-46)

When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit on his glorious throne,
with all the nations will be gathered before him.
And he will separate the people
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

And he will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father,
inherit the Kingdom prepared for you
from the creation of the world.
For I was hungry, and you fed me.
I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.
I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.
I was naked, and you gave me clothing.
I was sick, and you cared for me.
I was in prison, and you visited me.’

And the righteous will reply,
‘Lord, when did we ever see you…?’

Today, across African and Yemen, close to 20 million people
are in desperate need of emergency food aid
as the area suffers the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945.
In South Sudan alone,
more than 7.5 million people need immediate aid.
One million children are acutely malnourished;
270,000 of them face imminent death
if assistance does not reach them in time.

Lord, when did we ever see you?

In Somalia, people are walking for weeks,
desperately searching for food and water.
Right now, 6.2 million people need humanitarian assistance,
including 2.9 million who need immediate food aid.

Lord, when did we ever see you?

In Northeast Nigeria, the ongoing uprising by Boko Haram
has killed more than 20,000 people
and driven 2.6 million from their homes.
Malnutrition has made many adults too weak to walk,
and some communities have lost all their toddlers.

Lord, when did we ever see you?

In Yemen, two-thirds of the population – 18.8 million people –
are in desperate need of assistance.
Conflict is contributing to the crisis:
in the last two months alone, more than 48,000 people
have had to leave their homes to escape the violence.

Lord, when did we ever see you?

Food, water, shelter, medical care—
there’s simply not enough to go around.
Officials warn that unless emergency aid arrives very soon,
hundreds of thousands will die.

Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you?
Or thirsty and give you something to drink?
Or a stranger and show you hospitality?
Or naked and give you clothing?
When did we ever see you sick and visit you?’

And he will answer,
‘I tell you the truth,
when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,
you were doing it to me.’

— Christine Longhurst on behalf of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank

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