Creating a Prayer for Peace, Unity & Social Justice

The past few weeks have driven me to prayer, not to drink, not to name calling and not to despair.  There is so much to address in the world from racial prejudices and oppression to wars and violence to citizen apathy and worse.

The drive to prayer included seeking out our pastor asking him to keep victims, refugees, law enforcement, etc. in our congregation’s communal prayers. (I often feel that our clergy miss many opportunities to address societies’ ills to the congregation for fear of ‘offending’ one group or another, but certainly prayers can be offered.)

The resulting conversation lead to the development of this prayer service, that will hopefully be prayed once a week by a dedicated group, and open to any who wish to join from week to week when the current situations, both local or global, might inspire them to.

Any feedback would be most welcome!

 

Opening Prayer

ALL: Blessed be God Forever; Blessed be his Son, Jesus Christ, Blessed be the Holy Spirit, sent to strengthen and teach us.

Lord, Your Spirit, given to us, is not timid.  Let each of us do something, person to person, family by family, community by community, to realize that we are one  – one body, one people, one earth.  By Your design, we thrive or we perish together.

Lord, give us the grace of hope.  Give us the dedication to goodness and truth as we seek to restore our World to wholeness and life.

Enable us, in this way, to take back our country and our World from the violence and crippling fear we find in our midst.

We pray this in Your name.  Amen.

Reader 1: Dear Lord, God Almighty, Father of All, Please hear our prayers…For all the world:

Reader 2: For Europe & the Middle East

Reader 3: For Africa & Asia

Reader 4: For Australia & Island Nations

Reader 5: For Central & South America

Reader 6: For North America

Reader 7: For the United States

 

Reader 1: Loving God, You inspire with love concern for the well-being of all creation.  Give us today the strength and courage to transform the compassion of our hearts into acts of peace, mercy and justice.

Help us to renounce all forms of violence, prejudice, persecutions, intolerance and injury.  Empower us to live as the caring presence of the merciful & generous persons we claim to be.

ALL: Lord, make us channels of your peace.

Reader 2: Merciful God, give us the strength to listen rather than to judge, to trust rather than judge, to trust rather than fear, to try again and again to make peace even slide1when peace eludes us.  Give us the depth of soul, O’ God, to constrain our might, to resist the temptations of power, to refuse to attack others, to understand that vengeance begets violence, and to bring peace, wherever we go.  For You, O’ God have been merciful to us, so may we be merciful, patient, gracious and trusting with others whom You also love. (Sister Joan Chittister)

ALL: Lord, make us channels of your peace.

Reader 3: Lord, we pray for the power to be gentle, the strength to be forgiving, the patience to be understanding and the endurance to accept the consequences of holding to what we believe to be right. May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil and the power of love to overcome hatred. We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe in a world where fear shall no longer lead us to act unjustly. Establish among us a future where peace reigns, justice is done and mercy pervades.

ALL: Lord, make us channels of your peace.

rev-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-7975d8a36d460562Reader 4: Ever present God, you called us to be in relationship with one another and promised to be wherever two or three are gathered. In our world and nation, we are many different people; we come from many different places, have many different cultures. Open our hearts that we may be bold in seeking riches in inclusion and treasures in our diversity. We pray…. (Martin Luther King Jr.)

ALL: Lord, make us channels of your peace.

Reader 5: Loving God, Welcome into Your arms the refugees and victims of violence and terrorism. Comfort their families and all who grieve for them. Give hope to those separated from their loved ones, young people who are lost, and those who have been forced to leave home. Bring them safely to the place where they long to be, and help us always to show Your kindness to strangers in need. Help us in times of fear and uncertainty, and bless us with the knowledge that we are secure in Your love. Strengthen all those who work for peace, and may Your peace reign in our hearts.

ALL: Lord, make us channels of your peace.

Reader 6: Lord Jesus, We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty6398078 that condemns millions to lives of misery – hungry, sick, and utterly without hope. We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labor and especially for those forced to fight and kill. We pray for the victims of war, for those wounded in body and in mind. We pray for an end to cruelty, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms. We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world. (Jane Goodall)

ALL: Lord, make us channels of your peace.

Reader 7: Dear God, help us to strike at the causes of strife and division, strengthen us to overcome the evils close to home so we do not add to the ills of our world. Help us to support and nurture the faith and service that you call us to. Strengthen our communities and emergency responders to do the same. Let us work to stop the celebration of violence in the media and entertainment; to stop the verbal and physical abuse at home and racial violence in the streets; to stop pornography, drugs and hostility. Help us to bring together our communities, across race and class.

ALL: Lord, make us channels of your peace.

Reader 8: Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words “division”, “hatred” and “war” be banished from the heart of every man and woman. Lord, diffuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister.  Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother”, and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Namaste, Salaam, Peace. (Pope Francis 6-8-14)

Pope-Francis-prayer-videos

ALL: Lord, make us channels of your peace.

 

ALL: God Says “Whatever you ask in My Name, I will give you.”

So we ask God to fill our world with the peace He alone can give.

To empty our world of all hatred, prejudice, resentment and revenge.

Eliminate from our lives the smallest inclination toward anger and violence so that in transforming ourselves we become bearers of peace in our families, in our schools, in our parishes, in our neighborhoods, towns, cities, states, nations and the world, all so desperately in need of healing – transforming and bringing new life.

Amen


Reader 1: Give us confidence in our ability to comfort and heal bodies, minds and spirits broken by violence, we pray…  Response: COME HOLY SPIRIT

Reader 2: Give us the faith to risk following You without counting the cost, we pray… (Response)

Reader 3: Give us the courage, patience, gentleness of spirit that are needed in a world filled with turmoil and terror, we pray… (Response)

Reader 4: If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. We pray… (Response)

Reader 5: If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. We pray… (Response)

Reader 6: If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. We pray… (Response)

Reader 7: If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. We pray… (Response)

Reader 8: If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart. We pray… (Response)

(4-6 attributed to Lao-Tse)

Closing Prayer & Song

ALL:

Almighty, all merciful God, You have taught us to love one another, even our enemies. In times of violence and fear, let peace rule our hearts.

Help us to see each person in light of the love and grace You have shown us in Christ. Put away the nightmares of terror and awaken us to the dawning of Your new creation.

Establish among us a future where peace reigns, justice is done with mercy, and all are reconciled.

We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Make me a Channel of your Peace

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your Love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord
And where there’s doubt, true faith in You.

[Chorus:] Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring Hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there’s sadness, ever joy. [Chorus:]

Make me a channel of your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
In giving to all men that we receive
And in dying that we’re born to eternal Life.

love_peace_unity_by_cormael-d4kx0ec

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