Compassionate One, we are concerned about global poverty. We have become too accustomed to facts about the plight of the poor in Africa — such as, in Sierra Leone, surveys have discovered that 82.5 % of the people are living in severe poverty.

Data: Now, as Americans, we learn from research done by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Schaefer for their book $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America 1.5 million American households including 3 million children are living in extreme poverty. These writers and researchers were stunned by the pervasiveness of this devastating phenomenon and the finding that the number of those in this desperate economic situation has doubled since 1996.

Bountiful Creator, be with those who live with the fear and stress of extreme poverty. Forgive those who blame these deprived citizens for being lazy and not seeking work. Help the U.S. Congress to find ways to restore programs that provide a real safety net for the poor. May we hold in our hearts those living in such incredible poverty, both in the United States and throughout the world. Amen.

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