World Humanitarian Day honors the thousands of people around the world who risk their lives in order to provide food, medical care, water, shelter, and hope to millions of people suffering from the ravages of war, violence and natural disasters. Governments of all nations are urged to protect aid workers and to assist them in bringing help to the most vulnerable. Wherever people suffer, volunteers from around the world are inspired to reach out in whatever ways they can. Medical personnel care for the sick and injured, search and rescue teams mobilize to look for survivors and to recover those who have died, relief workers donate, collect and transport water and food to those in desperate need and ordinary civilians distribute clothing, blankets and shoes to their suffering brothers and sisters. Many of these efforts are carried on in the midst of ongoing danger and threat.
God, we pray for the humanitarian workers many of whom risk their lives while reaching out to relieve the suffering of others. Protect them as they bring hope to those they serve. May we be inspired to also respond in whatever ways we can to those in need of our help. Open our hands in a gesture of love and compassion. Open our minds with understanding. Open our hearts with generosity.