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Jesus Feeds the Multitude


Here are some worship resources inspired by Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the multitudes.


Matthew 14:15-21; 15:32-38
Mark 6:35-44; 8:1-10
Luke 9:12-17
John 6:4-13


Opening Prayer

God of our hopes and dreams,
we are empty, and long to be filled;
we are hungry, and long to be fed;
we are lost, and long to be found.
Gather us into your love,
and pick up the pieces of our lives,
just as Jesus gathered up the fragments
of the five loaves and two fish
that remained after feeding the five thousand.
Call us anew to eat our fill
and to find our true nourishment in Jesus,
the bread of heaven.


~ Adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2009, © 2008 Abingdon Press. Posted on the Ministry Matters website.

Prayer of Confession

We come believing in our emptiness,
believing that we will never have enough,
believing that what we have is unworthy.

We come fearful of sharing,
fearful of losing our tenuous grip on security,
fearful of touching and knowing the pain of others.

We come overwhelmed by the hunger,
overwhelmed by the suffering of children near and far,
overwhelmed by the endless tales of senseless violence, greed, and death.

We come aching from the weight of the responsibility,
aching from the chilling challenge of knowing our abundance,
aching from the gnawing awareness that we have much to share.

We come clinging to our meager lunches;
bless them, and us.
break them, and us.
share them, and us.

~ written by Katherine Hawker, on Liturgy Outside.

Offering Prayer

Merciful God,
the gifts we bring are so small in comparison to the vast needs in our world—
nowhere near enough to save the thousands dying of starvation around the world,
or even to meet the needs of the hungry and homeless in our city.
Yet we have brought what we can.

As You once multiplied the five small loaves and two fish,
multiply these gifts as well,
so that, once again, the hungry may receive all they need, and more.


Prayer for Others

Loving God,
You are our Creator and Sustainer.
When You open Your hand,
You satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
And so we look to You whenever we are in need,
trusting in Your love and Your abundant goodness.

As You once fed the hungry crowds with five loaves and two small fish,
we ask that You would again fill those who are empty this day.
Pour out Your Spirit on all who hunger and thirst.

We pray for those who are physically hungry—whose stomachs are empty.
We think of the people around the world who are facing critical food shortages;
who are suffering the effects of malnutrition and starvation;
and watching helplessly as loved ones die.

Lord, in Your mercy, open Your hand.
Pour out Your Spirit, so that they may be filled.

We pray for those who are emotionally empty—
who are lonely and long for companionship and love,
who are caught in the grip of depression,
or overwhelmed with grief.

Lord, in Your mercy, open Your hand.
Pour out Your Spirit, so that they may be filled.

We pray for those who are spiritually empty—
who are troubled, but don’t know where to turn;
who long for purpose and meaning, but don’t know where to look;
who need You, but do not yet know You.

Lord, in Your mercy, open Your hand.
Pour out Your Spirit, so that they may be filled.

God, we praise You for Your abundant gifts in our lives.
Pour out Your Spirit on us as well.
Fill us with Your compassion and love,
so that we would willingly share some of our abundance
with those who have need.

Lord, in Your mercy, open Your hand.
Pour out Your Spirit, so that we may be filled.

We pray in the name of Jesus Christ,
who came so that all of humanity might come to know
the abundant life that comes from You.


Spoken Resources

Contemporary Call to Worship

Rejoice, folks, Jesus is in our midst.
Feed us, Jesus, and fill us with hope.
Be glad, friends, Jesus has bread and fish to spare.
Free us, Jesus, from the pursuit of food
that does not satisfy.

Sing for joy, people of God;
God gathers up the pieces of our lives,
that nothing may be lost.
Thanks be to God!

~ Adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2009 © 2008 Abingdon Press. Posted on the Ministry Matters website.


Traditional Hymn: Break Thou the Bread of Life

Worship Together #266

Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word!

Bless Thou the truth, dear Lord, to me, to me,
As Thou didst bless the bread by Galilee;
Then shall all bondage cease, all fetters fall;
And I shall find my peace, my all in all.

Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me;
Give me to eat and live with Thee above;
Teach me to love Thy truth, for Thou art love.

O send Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me,
That He may touch my eyes, and make me see:
Show me the truth concealed within Thy Word,
And in Thy Book revealed I see the Lord.

~ Mary A. Lathbury, stanzas 1, 2; Alexander Groves, stanzas 3, 4

Contemporary hymn: Gather Up the Scattered Fragments

"Gather up the scattered fragments,
so that nothing may be lost,"
Jesus charged the twelve disciples,
as they each with basket crossed
up and down the grassy hillsides
where the multitude was fed,
till each basket brimmed to fullness
with the still-remaining bread.

Frugal is our God's abundance:
blessings we neglect or shirk
still retain the power to nourish
if we only let them work.
More provisions yet await us
than our dreaming comprehends,
but we fail to claim the promise
of the good that God intends.

Give us, God, the grace to hunger
for the feast that does not fade,
for the water fresh and living,
for the bread no hands have made.
Help us claim and share your giving
as the pattern for our own,
till all people grasp your goodness
and your saving power is known.

~ Carl P. Daw, Jr. Copyright © 2006 Hope Publishing Company. CCLI Song 5002445.

Tune suggestions:
HOLY MANNA (“Brethren, we have met to worship”)
Listen here: http://www.hymnary.org/tune/holy_manna

NETTLETON (“Come, O Fount of Ev’ry Blessing”)
Listen here: http://www.hymnary.org/tune/nettleton

Contemporary Song: Everything We Need

In the morning, Lord, we do look to You
for the strength we need just to make it through, have mercy.
In the evening, Lord, we look back and say
it was in Your strength that we made our way, have mercy.

You are everything we need.
Feed us Lord.

~ Gord Johnson. Copyright © 2009 worshiptogether.com Songs/sixsteps Music/Vamos Publishing (Admin. by EMI CMG Publishing). CCLI Song 5601671.

Listen to it here (Steve Bell/Fresh I.E. version):

Contemporary Song: Hungry

Hungry I come to You
For I know You satisfy
I am empty
But I know Your love
Does not run dry
And so I wait for You
So I wait for You

I'm falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus You're all
This heart is living for

Broken I run to You
For Your arms are open wide
I am weary
But I know Your touch
Restores my life
And so I wait for You
So I wait for You

~ Kathryn Scott. Copyright © 1999 Vineyard Songs. CCLI Song 2650364.

Listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrZETO6DiEQ


i~ Feeding of the 5000, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836–1902)


This worship resource was created/compiled by Christine Longhurst. You are welcome to use it free of charge, and where appropriate, please note the source. If you are printing any of the resources for distribution, please print the source as well. The content of the worship resource does not necessarily represent the views of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, which oversees the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. For more worship resources by Christine Longhurst, see http://www.re-worship.blogspot.ca or http://www.faithmatters.ca.

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