Prayers and Liturgies


Prayer is one of the most important ways you can support Episcopal Relief & Development and, in turn, the people we serve. 

Prayer for people in need is an essential part of Christian faith. It brings us into communion with God, where our hearts can be tuned to the needs of others — especially those who are suffering.


Prayers in Time of Disaster

Prayers of the People

A Prayer for Episcopal Relief & Development

Prayer for Women 


If you’re led to pray for Episcopal Relief & Development and those we serve, you can also simply review our country pages to learn about our efforts in specific places, and remember these people facing struggles:

  • Children whose health and survival are uncertain
  • People who are hungry or facing starvation
  • Those living in war zones or places where disasters have struck
  • People suffering from HIV/AIDS, malaria and other preventable diseases
  • Women who face discrimination, abuse and lack of maternal health care
  • The worldwide Church, especially dioceses and churches in places of great need
  • Episcopal Relief & Development’s partners, who struggle to help people and communities with limited resources and in challenging circumstances
  • Episcopal Relief & Development’s staff and partner agency staff who travel frequently to remote places
  • For all who are concerned about vulnerable children and other people in need, that we would be generous with our resources


A Prayer for Episcopal Relief & Development

Loving and merciful God, you bestow your grace on all of your children: Remember our sisters and brothers throughout the world who, in partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, strengthen communities, empower the poor, nourish the hungry, restore the sick and uplift those affected by disaster; and uphold Episcopal Relief & Development for the next seventy-five years, so that your Kingdom might be known to all people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Oración para Episcopal Relief & Development

Dios amante y misericordioso, tú que otorgas tu gracia a todos tus hijos recuerda a nuestros hermanos y hermanas en el mundo entero que, junto con Episcopal Relief & Development, fortalecen comunidades, empoderan a los pobres, alimentan a los hambrientos, sanan a los enfermos y elevan el espíritu de los afectados por desastres; y sostén a Episcopal Relief & Development para que todos los pueblos puedan conocer tu Reino, mediante Jesucristo, nuestro Señor, que vive y reina contigo en la unidad del Espíritu Santo, un Dios, ahora y por siempre. Amén.

Prayers in Time of Disaster

On the Occasion of a Disaster

Compassionate God… Draw near to us in this time of sorrow and anguish, comfort those who mourn, strengthen those who are weary, encourage those in despair, and lead us all to fullness of life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen

— Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (Church Publishing: New York), page 733

A Prayer for First Responders

Blessed are you, Lord, God of mercy, who through your Son gave us a marvelous example of charity and the great commandment of love for one another. Send down your blessings on these your servants, who so generously devote themselves to helping others. Grant them courage when they are afraid, wisdom when they must make quick decisions, strength when they are weary, and compassion in all their work. When the alarm sounds and they are called to aid both friend and stranger, let them faithfully serve you in their neighbor. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

— Adapted from the Book of Blessings, #587, by Diana Macalintal

Prayer for Preparedness and Response 

O God, our times are in your hand.  In the midst of uncertainty lead us by your never-failing grace as we seek to be agents of healing and hope.  Walk with us through difficult times; watch over us in danger; and give to us a spirit of love and compassion for those who suffer and mourn.  And finally remind us that you have promised never to leave us so that even in the valley of the shadow of death your love may be felt, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  AMEN.

— The Rev. Lyndon Harris, from the Episcopal Diocese of New York disaster preparedness plan

For a Person in Trouble or Bereavement

O merciful Father, who hast taught us in thy holy Word that thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men: Look with pity upon the sorrows of thy servant for whom our prayers are offered. Remember him, O Lord, in mercy, nourish his soul with patience, comfort him with a sense of thy goodness, lift up thy countenance upon him, and give him peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, page 831

Evening Prayer II

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen. 

Book of Common Prayer, page 124

Prayer for Peace 

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

In Times of Conflict

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Book of Common Prayer, page 824 

Prayer for Refugees

Dear Lord,

You know what it means to be a refugee. You also lost all and perhaps remembered how you came to be hungry and naked, thirsty and cold, prisoners in a camp or prisoners in our own minds. They even took your cloak and you had nothing left, except some people who came by to quench your thirst, to give you a blanket and to help carry your burden.

Lord Jesus, for God's sake, let us be those people who bring comfort, food and water, and an encouraging word. And may we then hear the words softly spoken: "insofar as you did it unto these people who are the least of my brothers, you did it unto me.  Go in peace!"

By Brother Andrew L. de Carpentier, Jordan

Prayer for Crisis in South Sudan

Most merciful God, whose peace surpasses all understanding, protect your children in South Sudan as they struggle for safety amid political unrest; guide them as they seek basic sustenance; and bless them as they forge a new path. Be with our sisters and brothers in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan as they respond to the crisis around them, so that their hearts and minds will be guarded to carry on the work of your son Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, in whose name we pray. Amen. 


Prayers of the People

A bidding prayer for an end to global poverty and instability. Based on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, now the Sustainable Development Goals, provided by the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations.

Brothers and sisters in Christ: Before he was crucified, our Savior Jesus Christ promised to draw to himself all things whether in heaven or on earth. Let us pray, therefore, that the peace accomplished through the Cross of Christ may be realized in our own world and our own relationships. Let us pray for the Church and the world God so loves, for peace among all nations, and for the reconciliation of all people and all things in the Name of Christ.


Almighty God, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have the grace to take up our cross and follow him in pursuit of your work of reconciliation in the world. God of love, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for the poor, hungry, and neglected all over the world, that their cries for daily bread may inspire works of compassion and mercy among those to whom much has been given.


Almighty and most merciful God, you command us to offer food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted; Grant that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart; that, following in the steps of your blessed Son, we may give of ourselves in the service of others until poverty and hunger cease in all the world, and all things are reconciled in the reign of Christ. God of love, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for schools and centers of learning throughout the world, for those who lack access to basic education, and for the light of knowledge to blossom and shine in the lives of all God’s people.


Eternal God, the author and source of all knowledge and Truth: bless all who seek to learn and those who teach them, and inspire us to break down barriers that withhold education from your children; that, enlightened with the bright beams of Wisdom, all may be equipped to seek the blessings of liberty, justice, and peace. God of love, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for an end to the divisions and inequalities that scar God’s creation, particularly the barriers to freedom faced by Godユs children throughout the world because of gender; that all who have been formed in God’s image might have equality in pursuit of the blessings of creation.


O God, in whom there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free: Unite the wills of all people, that the walls which divide us and limit equality among your children may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; so that all may live together in justice, harmony, and peace.God of love, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for the health of women, children and families around the world, especially for an end to maternal and child mortality, that in building healthy families, all God’s people may be empowered to strengthen their communities and repair the breaches which divide nations and peoples.


Almighty and ever-living God, giver of life and love, and Sanctifier of all families: Protect the health and safety of all women in childbirth and the children whom they bear, and inspire your people to work for an end to the deadly conditions which fuel maternal and child mortality throughout the world; that, in building strong and healthy families and communities, all may be strengthened to do your will on earth until the day when you gather us into one heavenly family. God of love, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for an end to pandemic disease throughout the world, particularly the scourges of HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis; that plagues of death may no longer fuel poverty, destabilize nations, and inhibit reconciliation and restoration throughout the world.


God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of all who suffer: Grant your saving health to all who are afflicted by disease throughout the world. Bless the labors of all who minister to the sick, and unite the wills of nations and peoples in seeking an end to the pandemics of our age; that sickness may be turned to health, sorrow turned to joy, and mourning turned to praise of your Holy Name.God of love, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for an end to the waste and desecration of God’s creation, for access to the fruits of creation to be shared equally among all people, and for communities and nations to find sustenance in the fruits of the earth and the water God has given us.


Almighty God, you created the world and gave it into our care so that, in obedience to you, we might serve all people: Inspire us to use the riches of creation with wisdom, and to ensure that their blessings are shared by all; that, trusting in your bounty, all people may be empowered to seek freedom from poverty, famine, and oppression.God of love, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for all nations and people who already enjoy the abundance of creation and the blessings of prosperity, that their hearts may be lifted up to the needs of the poor and afflicted, and partnerships between rich and poor for the reconciliation of the world may flourish and grow.


Merciful God, you have bestowed upon us gifts beyond our imagining and have reminded us that all that we have belongs to you alone and is merely held in trust by human hands: we give you thanks for those moments of reconciliation and grace we see in our world, of wrongs that are made right, knowing that in your love all things are possible. Inspire in our nation, its leaders and people a spirit of greater sacrifice and devotion in the use of our treasures for the reconciliation of your world; that, in forsaking wealth and giving up ourselves to walk in the way of the Cross, we may find it to be none other than the way of life and peace. God of love, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for the departed, particularly those who have died as a result of poverty, hunger, disease, violence, or hardness of the human heart;


Almighty God, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ rose from the tomb and destroyed forever the bondage of sin and death: We commend to your mercy all your departed servants, particularly those who have died as a result of the brokenness of our world; and we pray that we, too, may share with [the Blessed Virgin Mary, ______ and] all the saints in the joy of your heavenly reign.God of love, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

The Celebrant adds a concluding Collect: Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered together and reconciled under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever.


Prayers of the People


We pray for the one billion people who live on less than one US dollar per day and for each child of God who dies every 3½ seconds from hunger.  
Lead us eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for the more than 100 million children who are not in school this day.
Lead us to achieve universal primary education for all children.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for women who because of their gender never realize their full potential.
Lead us to promote gender equality and empower women.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for those precious children under the age of five who die every 3 seconds due to disease caused by unclean water, sanitation and poor nutrition.
Lead us to reduce child mortality.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer


We pray for the more than 500,000 women who die each year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
Lead us to improve maternal health.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for those who die each day from preventable diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
Lead us to combat these diseases.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for our environment. Make us good stewards of your creation so that all of your children may lead productive and fruitful lives.
Lead us to ensure environmental sustainability.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

We pray for a fair trading system, increased international aid and debt relief for developing countries so that all peoples may realize their dreams and their potential.
Lead us to create a global partnership for development.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

Prayers for Women

Equal Partners

Grant, O God, that all
may recognize women
as equal partners in
creation and prophesy.
By the grace of the Holy Spirit,
empower women
at home,
at work,
in government, and
in the hierarchies of 
synagogues, and
all other places of worship.
Provide safety and protection, 
O Gracious Divinity,
and inspire just laws
against all forms
of violence against women.

We ask this through Christ our Savior, Amen.

— Lifting Women's Voices - Prayers to Change the World, Chris Knight, New York City, United States



Resources & Learning

Click below to access our Resource Library and learn more about our efforts around the world.
Resources & Learning