all ageschallenging racism | economic justiceenvironmenteradicating povertyfamilies | global citizen | healing | Homelessness | living the gospel | magnificat | peaceprisonerspeacemakersreconciliation | refugees and asylum seekers | solidarity | sport | welcome asylum seekers | witness | work

To order hardcopies of the Social Justice prayer cards download an order form, or they may be reproduced with appropriate  acknowledgement and permission of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.


A Prayer for people who are homeless

SJS 2018 Prayer Card CoverLord our God,

You who so mysteriously call upon us
to share in the sufferings of Christ,
fill our hearts with compassion
for those who lack the warmth of a home.

We commend to you in prayer this day
all men, women and children
who suffer because they have no shelter;
those who sleep in our streets and public spaces,
who have nowhere safe to lay their heads,
and who wander from place to place as a way of life.

We pray for broken families who cannot pay the rent,
for those who are the lost and abandoned,
for those on the streets whose minds
have been touched by illness
or whose bodies are sorely affected by disabilities.

We ask that your merciful Grace be poured out
upon those with addictions,
those who have given up
in the face of enormous tribulations,
and those driven into a homeless life
by crushing poverty.

God of Compassion, your love for us is revealed
in your beloved son Jesus,
who was born into homelessness,
lived with nowhere to lay his head,
and died for us in agony on the cross.

Inspire us to act in justice,
by all means at our disposal, to right the wrongs
of peoples who are suffering
the deprivations of homelessness,
and to see in them the dignity of a brother and sister
redeemed by Jesus Christ.

Let us have the commitment,
as people of the Gospel, to be ever mindful
of our obligations we have
to the poor and marginalised,
to work in your name, O God,
to turn sorrow into joy
and to bring all those who live in darkness
into your own wonderful light.


A Prayer for Economic Justice

God of justice and compassion,
whose light shines into our hearts
and into our nation’s halls of power,
strengthen our faith as we acknowledge
the enormity of our task:
to include all in the prosperity of this land.

We pray for your spirit of generosity
in challenging greed and neglect.2017EconomicPC
Give us your grace to reach out
to the lowest paid workers,
families subsisting on meagre incomes,
people who are homeless,
the dispossessed First Peoples of this land,
so that we may achieve change,
inspired by the Gospel,
that leads to human flourishing.

We pray for your spirit of truth as we place
our own economic choices before you,
reflecting on our own motives as we strive
to give and to keep,
to save and to spend,
to invest and to speak out
in ways that honour every human being.

We pray for your spirit
of fierce love and determination
as we seek to assist and empower
the most vulnerable,
to create jobs and opportunities
where they are most needed,
to build an inclusive economy
that enables government and business
to champion a society
where justice and equity abound.

May we be instruments of your compassion
as we take up the needs of the poor,
May we be instruments of your mercy
as we bring truth to greed and neglect,
May we be instruments of your creative spirit
as we seek to make our world anew.

In Christ and through the Spirit we pray.

A Prayer for all Ages

God of all creation, you are timeless and beyond all ages.

We who are growing old give thanks
for the years you have given us –
for family, friends and all those
who have enriched our lives.
We who are not yet old give thanks
for the older people in our lives:
for grandparents, loved ones, friends
and all who generously offer
the wise counsel of their years.

We who are growing old pray that we may be 2016AgeingPC
patient with our ageing limbs
and difficulties in everyday tasks
we once did much more easily.
We who are not yet old pray
for patience and kindness
towards those who do not move as quickly
as we would sometimes like.

We who are growing old pray for good health
in our later years,
and forbearance when our health fails us.
We who are not yet old pray for good health
for those we love
and compassion towards those
who suffer ill health.

We who are growing old pray for prudence and sweet timing,
in offering our wisdom to the next generation,
while respecting their energy and creativity.
We who are not yet old pray for openness
and humility in receiving
the advice and guidance of our elders.

We who are growing old pray that we
may face our death with serenity and dignity.
We who are not yet old pray that we affirm
the sacredness of each person’s life
and accompany those who are dying
with gentleness and deep respect.

God of endless love, help us to understand
that we share a common life journey,
a call to live life to the full
and to strive to enable all creation to come
to the fullness of the Cosmic Christ. Amen


A prayer for justice for refugees and asylum seekers

(also available in PowerPoint form PPTX)

God of mercy, help me to remember:
My ancestors came across the seas!
Help me keep in my mind
Those who came long ago
And those who now come to our shores.

As I face you in prayer, God of Compassion,
I remember my country’s words:
Send them back or Stop the boats.
Then I fear, not your anger
But the steady gaze of boundless love
and unlimited compassion
That impel me to hear Jesus’ command:
Love one another, as I have loved you
Or Pope Francis’ call to open our hearts
To a universal communion
Which excludes nothing and no one.

Daring to step into such relationship, I pray2015RefugeesPC
For those forced to leave family,
home and all they hold dear;
May they find safe passage and helping hands.

I pray for an end to the wars and oppression
that forced them to leave;
I pray that those who welcome them
are blessed in abundance.

And with deep humility
and a heart hungry for justice,
I pray that we Australians, citizens and leaders,
Open our eyes, our minds and our hearts
That we may see, understand and welcome
our brothers and sisters.

May our change of heart penetrate to our beginnings
As strangers in this land.
May we allow those we displaced
– the First People of this land – to welcome us.
Then knowing, in humility, what it is to be welcomed,
We will know how to welcome
the strangers who come to our shores.

This we ask in the name of Jesus your Son,
In whom we are no longer strangers. Amen.


A prayer for sport

God of all sports (and none):
From our small minds,
how amused you must be
when our prayers about sport
are about our own success or our team’s.
Whose side are you on?
How do you choose
When supporters from both sides
implore your divine intervention?

Remind us that in prayer
our hearts are opened to you
and our minds lifted beyond ourselves.
Just as prayer changes us,
not you, O God,
so sport too, can lift us beyond ourselves.
So, we pray:2014SSportPC

We give thanks for the gift of our bodies,
For the ability to run, walk, jump,
swim, catch and throw.

We pray for patience and discipline,
that we may learn the joy of mastering new skills:
achieving success, and cheerfully bearing failure
in the company of others.

We pray that our relationships be enriched
through the friendships we form.
May we learn to include others across borders
of language, colour, gender and religion.

We pray that we care for others.
May we especially look out for those
who are differently abled,
and those often left on the boundaries.

Through our vigilance
may we always play fair,
and ensure that no one is abused or exploited.

We ask this through Jesus your son. Amen.


A prayer for solidarity (also available in PowerPoint form PPTX)

(this card is out of print)

God of all creation
You have given us the beautiful land we call Australia.
Rich in ancient culture and tradition,
Rich in landscape, plants and animal life;
Rich in resources, laws and social structure,
Offering safety and opportunity.

Teach us to see those who are at our gates,
To act justly so all may come to the table and
To weep for those who perish before they are invited.

Where there is hunger in our worldPrayer for solidarity
May we share our food and resources
and contribute our skills and knowledge
to create a sustainable food supply.

Where there is disaster
May we respond quickly and generously
To bring relief to those injured and deprived of homes
and help them to rebuild their lives and communities.

Where there are people who are disabled
May we see them first as people
and work tirelessly to ensure they are always included
and have the resources to reach their full potential.

Where people are displaced from their own lands,
Especially those who seek refuge on our shores,
May we dare to put ourselves in their shoes
And welcome them to share in the life gifted to us.

Where Indigenous communities are displaced in their own land,
May we acknowledge the wrongs of the past,
Recognise the richness of their culture
And empower all Indigenous Peoples
to determine their own future.

God of all creation
Give us clear eyes to see the whole world
So that we may never take for granted the gifts you have given
Or think they belong to us alone.
Give us open hearts to reach out from our comfort
and open our gates
To walk in new solidarity with our neighbours.



A prayer for families (this card is out of print)

Sometimes in the rush of life
The prayer which most often escapes our lips is: God help us!
So, God of all creation,
You who made the stars and the heavens,
Who created such wondrous gifts for this planet,A prayer for familiesAnd created women and men in your own image,
Help us!

Each time we utter that plea, aloud or in our hearts;
in hope, or in exasperation,
Know that we are opening ourselves to your unending love.
Help us to stop and take time:
Time to look deeply at the world you have created,
and give thanks.
Time to be with one another, in our families,
long enough to appreciate each others’ joys and sorrows,
and know in the depths of our hearts,
in the comfort of our kitchens,
and in the serenity of our sheds and gardens,
that we do not journey alone.
And from this strength, face calmly the turmoils that arise.

Help us to value the work of our hands, minds and hearts,
as a way of participating in your ongoing creation,
as a way of building relationships and building a more just society.
Give us the insight and courage to build a society
where everyone shares the riches of the earth and the wealth of our endeavours.
Help us to reach out to those less fortunate than ourselves:
Indigenous families, asylum seekers and refugees,
people who are homeless, or living in poverty,
families struggling to meet the needs of those with a disability.

Jesus, your Son, knew the reality of living in a family.
Together they knew the harsh reality of a forced journey
to Bethlehem and then to Egypt.
In Nazareth he learnt the grind and delight of daily work.

Through him we pray for all families,
that we may all live life to the full
and that we all, in our families, Church and society,
work tirelessly to bring this about.

We make our prayer through Jesus your Son
in the company of his family.
God, help us. Amen.


A prayer for prisoners

God, Our Creator,

We acknowledge the ancestors and original owners of this land,
a land of wealth and freedom, far horizons,
mountains, forest and shining sand.
Maker and spirit of earth and all creation
let your love possess our land
and may we share in faith and friendship, the gifts
unmeasured from your hand.

We pray for all the imprisoned, those on the inside,
whose confinement is obvious
and those on the outside, whose imprisonment is subtler.
We reach out in grace, knowing that human divisions are false,
that we are not the innocent praying for the guilty
or the right praying for the wrong
but people praying for people, the hurt remembering the hurt,
the failure reaching out in love to the failure in a single community.

We remember those who seek to change difficult life stories, midwives of hope and agents of grace.
We remember and pray for the victims of crime on the outside,
knowing that we do not have the luxury of black and white,
the simple answer or the easy question.
We remember and pray for the countless victims on the inside
casualties of uneven playing fields and difficult starts,
dreamless futures and nightmare pasts.A prayer for prisoners

We remember the whole criminal justice system and its process,
those caught up in it, those on every side
and in every moment of it.

We pray a blessing on all those who enter prison.
We pray a blessing on all those who wait on the outside.
We pray a blessing on the world community.
Teach us to deal with each other with compassion.

Keep all of us ever mindful of your law of love
so that we may temper justice with mercy,
exercise control with compassion.

May our motives and our actions conform to your will
and fulfil your purposes all the days of this life
so that we may share in the life to come.


NSW Network of Catholic prison chaplains



A prayer for peacemakers

Spirit of God,
give us the openness, deep within us
to recognise, daily,
all people as made in your image and likeness.

Help us to learn from one anotherA prayer for peacemakersthe ways of being fully alive,
at peace with ourselves and with those around us.
Give us the courage to transform
those parts of ourselves and our world
that separate and create enmity.

Help us to take steps to stop
the cycle of violence
in our homes, in our workplaces,
in our neighbourhoods, in our country,
in our world.

May we be open to our deepest yearning
for a world alive with your justice and truth,
to dream of a society
where all are treated with respect,
and, with the power of your Spirit,
to take steps to bring it about.



A prayer for witness

Spirit of God
We have heard your call to share in building up the Kingdom of God.

Fill us with the desire to change ourselves and to change the world.

Enflame our passion for justice into
a commitment to address unjust situations and structures.Prayer for witness

Deepen our concern for our sisters and brothers in Australia and overseas
who endure the burdens of poverty, war, exploitation and persecution.

Let us enthusiastically play our part
in the mission of the Church in the modern world.

Banish any complacency in our hearts and minds

Teach us to recognise the lack of justice

May we always act in the Spirit of justice
May we envisage, pray about and create a different sort of world
in which injustice is replaced with a renewed sense of solidarity and care.

Enlivened by the Spirit,
may we go forth in the peace of the Holy Spirit
to love and serve the Lord.



A prayer for eradicating poverty

Creator God, Your image is alive in every human person
giving to each of us an inviolable dignity.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity, the ability to work together,
and a willingness to share with others
our time, our energy, our skills and talents and our wealth.Prayer for eradicating poverty

As we share and enjoy the fruits of your creation,
restore in us your vision of a world made whole,
and inspire us to commit ourselves to the common good.

Gracious God, give us ears to hear, eyes to see and hearts to love,
so that we reflect you in our way of life,
and in our choices, words and actions.

Jesus is the good news to the poor.
As his followers, may we recognise the call to be the same.




A prayer for global citizenship

God of yesterday, today and tomorrow
You created a world of beauty and plenty for us all to share,
You gave us responsibility for this earth,
Rich in life and variety.

Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
sacrificing some of our freedom and self-interest
for the sake of the common good.

Enlighten and strengthen usPrayer for global citizenshipso that we may challenge the social and economic systems
that create and sustain poverty.

Show us the paths that lead
to mutual assistance among peoples,
to a deepening of human knowledge,
to an enlargement of heart,
and to a more human way of living within society.

May we carry forward the work of Christ
under the lead of the befriending Spirit.

Inspired by Paul VI. Populorum Progressio, 1967

Loving God
You have given all peoples one common origin,
and your will is to gather them as one family in yourself.

Fill the hearts of all with the fire of your love
and the desire to ensure justice for all our sisters and brothers.

By sharing the good things you give us
may we secure justice and equality for every human being,
an end to all division,
and a human society built on love and peace.

John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 1987


A prayer for reconciliation2006 Pic SJS 06

In the midst of conflict and division
We know it is you
Who turns our minds to thoughts of peace.
Your Spirit changes our hearts:
Enemies begin to speak to one another,
Those who were estranged join hands in friendship
And nations seek the way of peace together.
Let Your Spirit be at work in us.
Give us understanding and put an end to strife,
Fill us with mercy and overcome our denial
Grant us wisdom and teach us to learn
From the people of the land
Call us to justice.

(Adapted from the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer for Masses of Reconciliation II)


A prayer for living the Gospel

God of yesterday, today and tomorrow,
we call to mind your presence within us and around us.Prayer for living the gospel

Open our ears that we may hear your Word.
Open our hearts that we may understand your Word.
Open our mouths that we may speak your World.

Inspire us with the Gospel message,
that we may celebrate all that is life-giving,
restore hope where it has been lost,
and work to bring about change where it is needed.

May we live the Gospel with courage,
constancy and love.
May we be open to the challenge
of your call to true freedom.
May we be faithful to you in our daily choices
and decisions.
May we make your love known
through our words and actions.

May the triune God reign in our hearts, now and forever.




A prayer for peace (this card is out of print)

Prayer for Peace

Almighty God, the source of all our good.
You call us from oppression and conflict
to freedom and cooperation for the good of all.
Help people everywhere to build a world of peacePeace prayerever more solidly established on the four pillars:
truth, justice, love and freedom.

Pope John Paul II, Pacem in Terris: A Permanent Commitment, Message for World Peace Day 2003

A Peace Blessing

May God banish from our hearts whatever might endanger peace.
May God transform us into witnesses of truth, justice and love.
May God enlighten the rulers of peoples so that in addition to their solicitude for the proper welfare of their citizens,
they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace.
May God enkindle the will of all,
so that they may overcome the barriers that divide,
cherish the bonds of mutual charity, understand others,
and pardon those who have done them wrong.
May all peoples of the earth become as one, and
may the most longed-for peace blossom forth and reign always among them.

Pope John XXIII Pacem in Terris


A prayer for challenging racism

You are the source of human dignity,and it is in your image that we are created.

Pour out on us the spirit of love and compassion.

Enable us to reverence each person,A prayer for challenging racismto reach out to anyone in need,
to value and appreciate those who differ
from us,
to share the resources of our nation,
to receive the gifts offered to us
by people from other cultures.

Grant that we may always promote
the justice and acceptance
that ensures lasting peace and racial harmony.

Help us to remember that we are one world and one family.




A prayer for the environment

Creator of the universe,
we pray in gratitude and praise.
You were there at the beginning
of all things, shaping our worldA prayer for the environmentand preparing it for us.
You have provided the mountains
and the trees,
the waters and the earth.
Help us to be caretakers of your gifts, protecting the land from abuse,
and ready to share with all in need.
Show us how to use our science
and technology in creative,
not destructive ways.
Deepen our awareness of
our connectedness
with all your creation,
So that future generations
will also enjoy every blessing.

Michael Gormly SSC



A prayer for asylum seekers (this card is out of print)Asylum seeker prayer

No one is a stranger to you
and no one is ever far from your loving care.
In your kindness watch over refugees and asylum seekers,
those separated from their loved ones, those who are lost,
and those who have been exiled from their homes.
Bring them safely to the place where they long to be,
and help us always to show your kindness to strangers and those in need.

Adapted from the Opening Prayer of the Mass for Refugees and Exiles


A prayer for work (this card is out of print)

God of creation,
the world, all that grows on it,
all that roams it, and ourselves too
are the work of your hands.Prayer for work

By your gift they are also our work.

Guide and govern us so that our
labour may bring your creation to

Give to men and women work that
enhances their human dignity,
and draws them closer in service
to their brothers and sisters.

Have compassion on those who
despair of ever achieving work.

Direct the efforts of your church
to champion their plight
and bring them hope.

Adapted from the Opening Prayer for the Mass for the Blessing of Human Labour



A prayer for the journey of healing (this prayer is not printed)

We who have come from every land give thanks for Australia,
This earth that feeds us;
The shores that bind us;
The skies that envelop us in freedom.

We stand together, united as one people:Prayer of healingProud of our ability to work together;
Grateful for our gifts;
Nourished by our diversity and our harmony.

Yet we turn to the original owners of our land and see, too, what we have taken.
We weep for their loss of freedom, of country, of children -
Even of their very lives.
We stand in awe at their survival, and in debt for their land.

We have shadows in our history which if unfaced diminish us
We have taken without asking;
Our nation has taken without asking;
Lives are wounded.  We see the pain, feel the sorrow and seek forgiveness.

Let us look back with courage; see the truth and speak it.
Let us look around with compassion; see the cost and share it.
Let us look forward with hope; see what can be and create it.

Give us courage to face the truth;
Compassion to share the burden -
Strength to play our part in the healing -
And hope to walk forward to a place of justice.

With courage, compassion, strength and hope, we will walk together on the journey of healing.

WA Reconciliation Inter-Faith Working Group


Magnificat (A prayer for reconciliation) (this prayer is not printed)

My soul comes in the darkness of unknowing to the secret room of Yahweh.
My spirit seeks understanding in the happenings of these days,
Because God looks upon the people in a new way.
Yes, from this day forward
All generations will speak of these strange events as wonderful,
And those of us who walk blindly trusting, will be called blessed.Magnificat prayerFor the presence of the Almighty, the most loving One, is felt in our land.
Holy is the name of the One who is eternally new.

God's guiding hand reaches from age to age
For those who grope and stumble in search of the saving way.
We are shown the power of being present to one another,
While our proud expectations for our chosen nation are shattered.
The warrior-king we expected to establish us on earth as the righteous power
Has not come.
And we see instead the promised messenger as a common man.
The hungry of heart are fed with enabling love.
In places where there was need.
People now give to others from their abundance.
The rich are troubled and stripped of their power.

Glory to You: Source of all Being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.