For the 2012 mobilization, we offer this interfaith study guide called “HOME.” The guide includes perspectives from the Abrahamic faiths including scriptures, traditions, and dialogue questions. We invite you to click here to download HOME, and consider using it for study in an interfaith group.
In 2011, Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA); Rev. Larry Snyder, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA; Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in Christ in the USA; and Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America offered this interfaith prayer for the 2011 FPWF mobilization, Working Together to End Hunger. We encourage you to read this prayer at your Fighting Poverty with Faith event, at your church, synagogue, mosque or temple.
Sovereign and merciful Creator, Giver of life: You formed the earth and filled it with an abundance of riches, a harvest of plenty. Yet millions of our brothers and sisters live each day without enough food to eat and water to drink. Daily bread is a goal beyond the reach of countless children, precious in your sight. We live in a world unaware of the value and dignity in every human life, blind to the spark of the divine in every human being.
Help us to attend to the difference between charity and change; that we may both help to feed the hungry among us, and change the structures that swell the numbers of those living in poverty. In your providence, may we meet the challenge of making a place at the table of plenty for every human being, especially those too weak and hungry to find their way. In these challenging times help us to be good stewards and neighbors to one another, to sit and enjoy together the banquet of abundance that you intend for us all.
Though we profess different faiths, we discern together that your compassion is for all and your love unites us in service to one another. We pray together in the confidence that you are with us and we ask your holy blessings as we pursue our work on behalf of those in need. Amen.
Passages from our Holy Books
- The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners (Luke 4: 17b-21, quoting Isaiah 61:1)
- When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. (Isaiah 41:17)
- I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the needy, and executes justice for the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall live in your presence. (Psalm 140:12-13)
- Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)
- Verily those who give Sadaqat (charity), men and women, and lend Allah a goodly loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit) and theirs shall be an honorable good reward. (Surah 57 Ayah (verse) 18)
- As-Sadaqat are for the Fuqara’ (poor), and Al-Masakin ( the poor) and those employed to collect and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined, and to free the captives, and for those in debt, and for Allah’s cause and for the wayfarer ( traveler) a duty imposed by Allah, and Allah is the All knower, All wise. (Surah 9 Ayah (verse) 60)
- He who feeds a stranger and a tired traveler with joy attains infinite religious merit. (Mahabharata XIII.7.7)
- You should by all means reach out to those who are suffering because they are not able to support their family, and are yet hesitant to ask for help. (Mahabharata XIII.59.12)
- God led Adam around the Garden of Eden and said, ‘Look at My works. See how beautiful they are, how excellent. See to it that you do not spoil or destroy My world — for if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you.’ (Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13)
- Jesus began his ministry by proclaiming good news to the poor (Luke 4:17b-19), and calls the church to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and welcome the stranger. (Matthew 25:37-40)
- Strengthen him [the poor person] so that he does not fall and become dependent on others. (Leviticus 25:35)
- Give. Give with faith. Do not give without faith. Give with sensitivity. Give with a feeling of abundance. Give with right understanding. (Taittiriya Upanishad)