Prayers for East Africa

Many of you have heard of the rising drought in Somalia over the last few months, and of the great swarm of refugees arriving in Kenya. As the drought continues, the needs of our brothers and sisters in East Africa grow daily.

Catholic News Service (CNS) reports of Fatima Mohammed and her family’s 32 day trek to Kenya to find help until the rains come. In the past, humanitarian efforts arrived to her, however this time is different:

This time, al-Shabaab won’t let them in,” she said, referring to the Islamist group that controls portions of Somalia. “So when our animals started dying, our only choice was to stay and die ourselves, or else start walking for Kenya.

Fatima’s story is just one of many refugees looking for hope by becoming refugees. Yet, the number of refugees grows by 1,300 each day.

Let us continue to pray for our brothers and sisters of East Africa, and for the agencies that are on the ground trying to help them. I am asking my readers to consider donating to the “East Africa Emergency Fund” via:

  • by check to your local diocese and/or parish collection for East Africa, noting “East Africa Emergency Fund”;
  • directly to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090 Baltimore, MD 21203-7090; or
  • to CRS via web: 
Let us pray:

General Intercessions

Response: Gracious God, hear our prayer

  • For the church, that we may work together with our leaders to respond to the devastation of the drought impacting East Africa, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
  • For world leaders, including political leaders and international organizations, that their response to the
  • drought in East Africa will reflect your will and demonstrate cooperation, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
  • For people in East Africa who are losing hope, who feel abandoned as a result of conflicts, drought, death and the visible threat of famine, may God’s people remind them of God’s love and providence, we pray to the Lord (Response)
  • For those of us gathered here, continue to teach us about your way so that we might understand and build the kingdom of God, we pray to the Lord (Response)

Gracious and Loving God,
As witnesses to the drought in East Africa,
continue to provide your people
with hearts of service, compassion and solidarity.

Console our sisters and brothers living
with uncertainty and the scarcity of food.

Guide our leaders that they might work together
to offer solutions to the needs
of the people in East Africa.

May your grace remind us
that you are the source of justice;
your mastery over all things
makes you lenient to all.

Continue to gather us in your name
so as your children we embrace
our sisters and brothers
as we respond to your call.

You call us your people.
You taught us to be just and
you gave us good ground for hope.

Lord, help us to respond to the needs
of our brothers and sisters in the coming weeks.
Mold us in your will so that our brothers and sisters
will see you reflected in our response.

We ask this through your son, Jesus Christ
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.