God of mercy, whose eye is on the sparrow,

 and from whose sight nothing is hidden

open our eyes and our hearts to the plight of your people of South Sudan.


While we have been absorbed in our own concerns and distracted by an endless news cycle focused on Washington, D.C., the suffering of twelve million souls has deepened.

This young nation's survival is at risk,

its hope and resources overwhelmed by hunger, thirst, and violence.

We ask your forgiveness for our short attention spans and our limited imagination.

We pray that you will help us to do better.


We pray for those who are trying to hold on in villages and towns,

                scratching for a living, walking miles for water

                for families who have fled to overcrowded and dangerous camps.

For those trying to hold life together, always watching and waiting

                for the ominous movement of militia on the road into town

                for the whistle of incoming shells,

                for a cry from a desperate neighbor or a shout of warning

                wondering, is it safe to remain? Shall I send my family away?


We pray for neighbors in other countries, especially Uganda,

                who have already welcomed so many,

                whose resources are strained under the burden of hospitality

                but who are still willing to do more.

We pray for ourselves, who have failed to watch and pray,

                who have the ability to act and the resources to help.

May we reach deeply, give generously, and advocate for justice with strong voices.

May we lift our voices in a strong and unified advocacy so that governments will act now to save lives and to protect the threatened peoples of South Sudan.

May we not forget, nor fail to continue to pray with our hearts and our actions.

Help us find courage, compassion and hope, for we need your grace. Amen.



-the Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, Coordinator, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance,

August 7, 2017.


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