The National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS takes place 4 – 11 March 2018. The purpose of the Week of Prayer which began in the 1990s, is to bring attention to the AIDS epidemic in the US and to emphasize the role of faith communities in education, prevention, service and advocacy.
This year, we invite everyone to share in the Week of Prayer by using the following prayers and scriptures provided. Prayers have been assigned for Sunday 4, Wednesday 7 and Saturday 10, March. Suggestions of scriptures compiled by The Balm of Gilead, Inc. have also been provided in the attached document. It can be downloaded here, read and meditated upon on the other days of the week.
If you have any difficulty in accessing the scriptures, send us an email at [email protected] for assistance.
Please share this devotional with family and friends as we encourage all to participate in the National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS.
Sunday 4 March 2018
In the early eighties, when HIV/AIDS was first diagnosed, a majority of the church leaders around the world preached that this was the result of God’s wrath being unleashed upon the homosexual community.
Pastors and faith leaders gleefully berated the gay community and scornfully sentenced homosexuals to a slow, agonizing, and isolated death. Instead of recognizing the disease as an opportunity to show Christian compassion, churches delighted in demonizing, leperizing, and shunning a whole community of people who needed love, comfort, and acceptance.
But not Metropolitan Community Churches! As a community of faith, around the world, we came together as ONE, caring for our siblings, standing at their sides, holding their hands, praying, loving, caring and becoming that beacon of hope that could be given when there was no one else around, not knowing what was to come.
As we come to this week of Prayer for the Healing of HIV/AIDS, people of different faiths – including Christians – around the world, we pray for those infected with and affected by this horrific disease. Let this be a time to support and continue to love those who are infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Let it be a time to seek a cure and a week when we as God’s Children come together to continue showing our love and support to all, regardless of our race, color, or how we define our sexuality. Let this be the road to finding a cure to zero.
So we pray:
God of our weary years and God of our silent tears, we know YOU to be a good and gracious God. Continue to be the God of health and wholeness in each our lives.
As we Your servants – many living our lives with HIV or AIDS – come before You and ask to take this suffering away from all those who are suffering. Restore each and every one of us back to perfect health, while leading us to know of Your powerful healing love through body and spirit.
As mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, and friends of those who live daily with HIV/AIDS, continue to help each of us minister in loving care, support, and patience through Your guidance and perseverance.
Forgive those who continue to find prejudices and self-righteousness to those who are infected and affected while helping everyone to see every person as a Child of God, in need of hope love, and care.
Loving God, we ask that you continue to be with the doctors, nurses, researchers, caretakers, and all those who continue to be that guiding source as those continue to search and develop a cure, but work and care for our siblings who are infected and affected.
Lead us, God of Creation, to do whatever it will take to eradicate this illness from the lives of those who are touched by it both directly and indirectly. Trusting in and through You will continue to bring the strength that comes through the love of Your Spirit.
Reverend Tory V. Topjian
Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Church
Wednesday 7 March 2018
You lovingly welcomed those in your culture who had been marginalized, not regarding what others thought of you.
May I be emboldened by your spirit to be inclusive of those living with HIV/AIDS, with no hesitation and without condition.
You never allowed the symptoms of another’s illness to stop you from reaching out with the healing touch they desired.
Please empower me to warmly embrace those in my life who are seeking comfort while journeying with HIV/AIDS.
You bravely spoke truth to those who wielded power unjustly against the vulnerable.
I beg of you, enflame my voice and my vote to cry “Justice!” for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
You said, “Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened down, and I will give you rest.”
Be present in me, I ask, as a source of respite to each courageous caregiver of those living with HIV/AIDS.
Your grateful hands and feet,
Chaplain Barry Christensen
Elizabethtown, KY, USA
Saturday 10 March 2018
Loving God, as we prepare to observe the National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS, we thank you for the multiple advances in care that has been made over the past 30 years. We remember our siblings that have succumbed to the disease.
We pray for all those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS who remain consigned to the margins. Provide them comfort and remove the isolation and fear that creeps in and envelopes them. Help them to remember that you love them just as they are, and that you are always there beside them, watching over them and guiding them.
We ask that you break down the barriers of stigma and shame that leads to isolation and fear. Help us to examine the intersections between poverty, immigration, class, race, sexism and other “isms” that contribute to new diagnoses.
Give us the courage to confront these issues and their intersectionality and “live as people who are free, not using our freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”
DAVID WILLIAMS, M.D., M.P.H
MCC Christ the Liberator
Health and Wellness
Metropolitan Community Churches