Holy and gracious God,
You are the creator of our bodies and the lover of our souls who after making us said that we all were very good.
We stretch our hands to thee as intercessors for those who are infected, and for all of us who are affected by the HIV AIDS pandemic. This is a disease that has taken the lives of so many, debilitated the lives of so many, and revealed relational fissures in African American families and communities that have hindered our loving public responses to those who are HIV positive and need our help so desperately.
We celebrate the testimonies of families who love, accept, and support their members who are living with the virus. We are thankful for pastors who are involved in the public work to reduce stigma and the rate of infection. We pray your blessings upon congregations that have established HIV AIDS ministries and believe you will increase their number. We pray for getting to zero in stigma, zero new infections, and zero HIV positive folks who are not in treatment.
We pray for families who have responded to their loved ones who have been infected with with the disease with fear and isolation from regular family life. We pray for pastors who find themselves unable to offer public prayers around this issue because they are worried about what the repercussions might be. We pray for congregations that are not safe spaces for infected folks to disclose, live their truth, and be welcomed and loved. We also pray your holy support, strengthening, and encouragement for those whom you have called to work, service, and ministry on this issue as they struggle against great odds and obstacles on behalf the least of these.
Despite all of this and so much more that could discourage, we know that your light shines in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it. This is why we believe that love is greater than stigma. This is how we know that when Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it more abundantly that this includes those who are living with HIV AIDS and those at risk for infection, and those who love and serve them.
Dear Lord, I close this prayer with the blessed assurance that through you those who have been outsiders will become insiders, that the areas of tension that have been revealed in our families, churches, and communities will become places of your healing and victory, and that we will grow in love and support for one another because nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.