O Savior of the world, teach us how to pray for those who are lost
in desolations of darkness
without knowledge of the mercy that is yourself.
We remember the innocent victims of war
and all the agony they suffer,
those who are greatly afraid,
those who have been overwhelmed by torment of mind or body.
Save us from the cowardice that would turn us away
from the thought of these things,
from the indifference that would pass them by.
Give us penitence for the evil in ourselves
which has added to the darkness of the world,
and if there be any small thing we can do to lighten any misery,
show us what it is and help us to do it.
Teach us how to pray with the compassion that is not afraid to suffer
with those who suffer
and if need be,
to enter darkness with them.
O Everlasting Mercy, who once in time came from the height of heaven
down to the depth of our need,
come again in power to forgive us and renew us and set us on fire,
that through the labors and prayers of broken-hearted sinners
your mercy may banish the darkness and bring new life upon the earth.
Elizabeth Goudge, 1900-1984, English novelist
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them,
because they were harassed and helpless,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest
to send out laborers into his harvest.”