Monday, February 12, 2007

a prayer for peace by jonathan marlowe

"Gracious God, who created our world in love, provided the resources for us to live in peace, and blessed us with the abundant nature of your grace, we pray today for the needs of our communities, nations, and world.

Although you have endowed your good creation with Shalom, we confess that we have turned aside from your way of peace. We have been too eager to punish wrong-doers, we have been reluctant to forgive, we have allowed our fears and insecurities to take control of who we are. You sent your Son Jesus Christ to be our Prince of Peace, but when the time for important decisions came, we have too often and too easily trusted in the weapons of war to solve our problems.

Lord, help us not to fall victim to the temptation of self-righteousness in times like these. Our sins of arrogance and naïveté cross the borders of liberals and conservatives, democrats and republicans, hawks and doves. Make us into a humble people, sober in judgment, modest in speech, and authentic in our desire for peace.

We confess, O Lord, our complicity in the systems and the disordered passions that fuel the fires of war: the angers that we nurse, the resentments that we treasure, the greed we harbor. Sometimes we have been content to let our institutions do our sinning for us.

Forgive us and renew us, O God. Heal our broken spirits, and transform our relationships. Show us again the path of peace, and expand our vision to seek justice for the poor.

We pray for the people of Iraq, for their safety and well-being. We pray for Sunnis and Shiites and Kurds. We pray that centuries of hostility towards one another will somehow subside, that sectarian violence will come to an end, that the very difficult road of forgiveness will be considered. God, please comfort those who mourn in Iraq today.

We pray for Iraqi Christians, many of whom have fled their homeland for safer dwelling places. For those who have fled, grant that they will find a new home. For those who stay in Iraq, give them hope and strength.

AS Jesus taught us, we pray for our enemies. Give us the strength to love them, even when they don’t love us back.

We pray for American soldiers who are serving now in Iraq. They serve because they are good people who want to serve their country. We thank you for their dedication, skill, and bravery. We pray for their safety; we ask that they will be able to come home very soon to their family and friends and churches. We are sorry that we have put them in the position that they are in. We have asked them to do our combat for us, while we sit safely at home. Bring them home, Lord, bring them home.

We pray for veterans who have already returned home from Iraq, sometimes to disturbing conditions at home. We pray for veterans who are homeless, who need medical, psychological and spiritual care, who have been injured in body, mind, and/or spirit.

We pray for the governmental leaders, both here and in Iraq. Give them the wisdom to know how to end the conflict as soon as possible. Where they have strayed, give them new direction. Where they are trying their best, bless their efforts.

Lord, we pray today for your church, particularly the United Methodist Church. Sometimes we have been timid, reluctant to speak up for peace, hesitant to resist the crowds when they have clamored for war. Give us boldness now, to speak the truth in love, to articulate clearly our desire for peace, and be your witnesses for Shalom. Make us active in ministering to all those who suffer, stir our imaginations to greater relief efforts throughout the world: to bind up the broken-hearted, to care for the widows and orphans, to minister compassionately to refugees and survivors.

Make us your Church, the body of Christ, a foretaste of your heavenly peace on earth - Until that day when we will all beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks, when nation will not lift up sword against nation, and we can finally learn of war no more.



Post a Comment

<< Home