World AIDS Day is December 1 and December is AIDS Awareness Month. United Methodists believe that people with HIV have the right to full participation in the church and society. This prayer for those living with HIV/AIDS was shared recently at the Breaking Barriers Conference sponsored by the United Methodist Global AIDS Committee and we asked some of those present to read it. We invite you to watch this video and share it in your own congregations and with friends.
Prayer for People Living with HIV/AIDS
Let us pray.
My soul pleads for mercy, my heart is saddened by the stigma and discrimination around me, against me, and in me.
Who will listen as I scream? Who will see my tears?
No one but you, Oh God. My source of strength, you have chosen me.
You have seen my weakness and strength.
Let your voice bring hope from the highest mountain top.
Let your spirit take over me.
HIV has taken over my blood, but it has not taken my spirit away.
It has not taken my joy away. It has not taken my voice away.
Instead God has entrusted me to be the voice. Lord, you know I will fall. You know I will stumble along the way. You know my heart's desires. You know my heart's temptations. You know my thoughts and my every step.
Pick me up when I fall. Feed me when I am hungry. Quench me when I am thirsty. Clothe me when I am naked.
Love will overcome HIV. Love will be my source of strength. Love is unconditional and with no limits.
Love is food and a pure essence for the soul, the mind, and the spirit.
Love does not separate, discriminate, hate, or judge.
Love taught me to embrace my disease, to bring life and hope to those who have lost it.
Together with love, we can overcome. Together with love, our voices will be heard. Together with love, we can end this epidemic. It is a promise!
"Embrace Your Afflictions" was written by the Rev. Kerolos Saleib.
It is featured in Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens: Prayers, Poems and Affirmations for People Living with HIV/AIDS by author Khafre Kujichagulia Abif. Available on Amazon.com.
Special thanks to the following people who read the reflection:
The Rev. Kristine Marshall
Bishop Julius Trimble
Dr. Douglas Smith
Dr. Irma Clark
Catherine M. Norman
Learn more about the Global AIDS Committee of the United Methodist Church.
Support the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund with your donation to Advance #982345
This video was first posted on November 16, 2018.