this is why we pray and act on injustice…

Because it makes a difference. Just take a look at this! Or read this… please let’s keep going…


In 2003, when Liz (one of the Sanctuary’s co-founders) started work at Christian Aid and her journey of fuller awareness and compassion for this issue, the big picture around HIV/AIDS was very different.

Being part of a decade of prayer and action, and celebrating individuals’ and communities’ stories along the way – in the midst of the pain of mourning the impact – has been a privilege, but an uphill struggle sometimes.

It’s been hard to keep hope alive sometimes. But today is one of those days when you see why it matters so much.

Truly today we are astonished at God – whose attribute highlighted in our prayer rhythm today is ‘hope’ – and what men and women can acheive when they partner with his transformative vision, intercession and work in his world and for his people.

In advance of Sunday (World AIDS Day), today’s morning worship was focused on interceding for HIV/AIDS and all those living with it, affected by it and working to alleviate it – particularly in and amongst the global poor.

We adapted our existing prayer stations for our corporate, creative prayer vigil this morning… and started by giving thanks for the massive transformation.

As a result of this morning, we’ve updated our existing prayers stations – Responding to HIV, AIDS and poverty – with the most up to date statistics and with a couple of new stations focusing on celebrating progress.

This is why we pray and act on massive issues – because they can and do change.

And this is why when we see change we celebrate and thank God for it.

It is also why we must ensure that as HIV/AIDS ceases to become a fresh issue, and falls from endemic levels, that we don’t turn away, forget, or fight less hard.

Not until – as UNAIDS say – we get to zero.

Thank God that is possible.

Thank God that is in process.

Thank God that we can keep praying and acting to partner with him in defeating injustice.

A prayer of thanks and renewed commitment to pray and act for the end of HIV/AIDS (inspired by the hymn Lord of all hopefulness*)

Lord of all hopefulness,
Lord of all joy
whose trust, ever child-like,
no cares could destroy,
You were there when we woke up
to HIV’s stigma and endemic spread,
And you gave us the hope, Lord,
to face that dark day and imagine a new tomorrow.

Lord of all eagerness,
Lord of all faith,
whose strong hands were skilled
at the plane and the lathe,
You enable our work
and keep giving us still
your strength in our hearts, Lord,
To keep going in this long fight.

Lord of all kindliness,
Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome,
your arms to embrace,
You’ve inspired our scientists
And changed people’s minds.
You’ve filled us with courage, Lord
And moved through us in love.

Lord of all gentleness,
Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment,
whose presence is balm.
We stand on the breakthroughs
And ask for determination not complacency.
Give us the means to pray and work for more,
Till we celebrate the end of HIV’s day.

* Jan Struther (1901-1953)

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