Today on World AIDS Day my thoughts and prayers are with the 33 million people (2 million children) who are currently living with AIDS.

Last night I had the honor of giving the invocation at the Red Tie Gala put on by Blood:Water Mission. It was an event that honored Senator Bill Frist and his leadership in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

I thought I would post my prayer here as a reminder for all of us to remember those suffering today.

Heavenly father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you, it all belongs to you and so we humbly come before you.

We pray today for all those suffering  particularly with HIV/Aids, in a thousand places we don’t hear about in our news. And we pray for ourselves, and for those in our community and in our own families who suffer, who mourn, who face the extraordinary and the everyday difficulties and fears of life with Aids.

We believe with all of hearts you are a God of compassion and so we ask you to do what only you can do and, comfort your sons and daughters who live with HIV. Spread over each one of them your unending mercy and your peace which surpasses all understanding.  Give them courage to live with their disease.   Be with them when they are alone or rejected. Comfort them when they are discouraged.

And God so many of us like myself, repent of our denial, of our complacency and our failure towards the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Forgive us for not giving our lives to that which is high and noble. God forgive us for shrinking back in fear when the problem of this world seem so gigantic. We commit ourselves afresh
to communicating your grace to the world;
to ministering, responding to and identifying with those in need. We give up our feelings of self-righteousness, our judgmental attitudes, 
our faulty beliefs about HIV and AIDS and the people who live with the virus.

We ask that you would open our eyes to your presence reflected in their faces. Open our ears to your truth echoing in their hearts. Give us the strength to weep with the grieving, to walk with the lonely, to stand with the depressed. May our love mirror your love.

God of life, help us to find the cure now.  Enlighten those researchers, scientists, and technicians who seek a cure for aids and its related conditions; be present with them in their perplexity and,  prosper their efforts with such success .

And between now and the day we see this epidemic finally put to rest help us to build a world in which no one dies alone and where everyone lives accepted wanted and loved.

To you we look for whatever good the future holds. Not a one of us  is satisfied with the world as we have found it. So help us become a people whose coming and ministry the world has been waiting for.

May unity overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair; all of which we ask through  Jesus Christ our Lord.