by Suki (United Kingdom)
Heavenly Father God I come to you today to ask for strength and courage through one of the most mentally trapping and difficult times in my life. I live in a foreign country and I am being accused of something very bad that can destroy my whole career and livelihood I worked so hard for. I made mistakes lord but I’m not the title they are claiming me to be.
I need to go to court due to their accusations and I’m so scared. My thoughts consume me daily, I can’t eat or think clearly and I’m terrified of the future. I ask you to please bestow your love, strength, guidance and truth throughout this court case for me to have any chance at winning. I need you Lord and I leave my future in your hands to solve.
Thank you for your ears and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ my lord and savior. Amen
Return to Prayers for Strength and Guidance
Prayers for Justice and Peace
An International Prayer for Peace
(Adapted from the Upanishads by Satish Kumar)
Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace.
Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.
Peace, peace, peace.
See also “Lead Us From Death to Life,” no. 581, New Century Hymnal)
Prayers for Peace
O God, who would fold both heaven and earth in a single peace:
Let the design of your great love lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows:
and give peace to your Church, peace among nations,
peace in our dwellings, and peace in our hearts:
through your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen
Eternal Lord, whose kingdom knows only the sword of righteousness and justice, and where your only power is love, send forth your spirit so that all the peoples of the earth will join together as children of one Father, for yours alone is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayers for Justice
Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it:
a world where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or poor;
a world where the riches of creation are shared, and everyone can enjoy them;
a world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect;
a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.
Give us the inspiration and courage to build it, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth,
and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness,
that they may become the Commonwealth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Almighty 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, and a human society built on love and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Victims and Perpetrators of Injustice
(From “Prayers for Justice and Peace”)
For all those who have fallen victim to hatred and inhumanity, for those loved ones who are left behind to mourn, for the souls of those whose hearts are cold, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the children who are being born into this world of conflict and violence, for women and mothers who suffer needlessly, Lord, hear our prayer.
For all those who have been forced into unemployment, who long to return to work, for all those who struggle to support their families, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the soldiers who are misguided in thinking that their bullets will bring about peace, for those who feel called to conscientiously object to military orders, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the children who cry in their beds at night and wonder “what have I done?”
For the mothers and fathers who must try to explain the unexplainable, Lord, hear our prayer.
For all the children who have died before their time, for the soldiers who allow their uniform to strip them of their humanity, for the healers who are denied the opportunity to use their gifts, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the redemption of souls of both victim and perpetrator, for those who commit themselves to the forgiveness of sins, Lord, hear our prayer.
Prayers for Refugees
(from the Sabeel Center, Jerusalem)
Open our eyes that we may see the needs of others;
Open our ears that we may hear their cries;
Open our hearts that we may feel their anguish and their joy.
Let us not be afraid to defend the oppressed, the poor, the powerless, because of the anger and might of the powerful.
Show us where love and hope and faith are needed, and use us to bring them to those places.
Open our ears and eyes, our hearts and lives, that we may in these coming days be able to do some work of justice and peace for you. Amen.
Almighty and merciful God, whose Son became a refugee and had no place to call his own;
look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger, homeless and hungry.
Bless those who work to bring them relief;
inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts;
and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your Commonwealth of justice and of peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.
You bring hope out of emptiness, energy out of fear, new life out of grief and loss.
As Mary returned to mourn yet found unspeakable joy, so comfort all who have lost their homes
through persecution, war, exile, or deliberate destruction.
Give them security, a place to live, and neighbors they trust to be, with them,
a new sign of peace to the world. Amen
A Meditation on Violence and Prayer
based on Isaiah 58:6-7, 10
This is the fast that pleases me:
to break unjust fetters,
to let the oppressed go free,
to share your bread with the hungry
and shelter the homeless poor.
If you do away with the yoke,
the clenched fist, the wicked word,
if you give your bread to the hungry
and relief to the oppressed,
your light will rise in the darkness.
Prayer for those dying in war or economic chaos
Hear our prayer for all those who will die today because of war and economic oppression, especially the children.
Prepare them for the agony, despair, and terror of the violence that is upon them. Comfort them and hold them close to the bosom of your most Immaculate Heart as they drink deeply of the bitter cup which is forced upon them. Wipe their tears, calm their fears, welcome them to peace and safety. Eternal rest grant to them, and may perpetual light shine upon them. May all rise in judgment against the wickedness that brings this violence upon the world.
Overturn the thrones of tyranny, scatter the unjust, cast down the bloody rulers who make the cry of the widow and orphan rise to heaven. Give us your grace and strength to stand against the demonic powers which prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Grant that peace with justice will come to all the world. Amen.
We know that Jesus’ greatest longing, like that of the prophet Micah, was for the coming of God’s reign on the earth—that day in which God’s justice and love would permeate this earth as it does heaven. The ethical teaching that he gave us intended to help bring this reign about. But, he also taught us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come. As we close our meeting this day, let us pray and reflect upon the most treasured prayer that we have: the prayer that Jesus taught us.
Our Father . . . who always stands with the weak, the powerless, the poor, the abandoned, the sick, the aged, the very young, the unborn, and those who, by victim of circumstance, bear the heat of the day.
Who are in heaven . . . where everything will be reversed, where the first will be last and the last will be first, but where all will be well and every manner of being will be well.
Hallowed be thy name . . . may we always acknowledge your holiness, respecting that your ways are not our ways, your standards are not our standards. May the reverence we give your name pull us out of the selfishness that prevents us from seeing the pain of our neighbor.
Your kingdom come . . .help us to create a world where, beyond our own needs and hurts, we will do justice, love tenderly, and walk humbly with you and each other.
Your will be done . . . open our freedom to let you in so that the complete mutuality that characterizes your life might flow through our veins and thus the life that we help generate may radiate your equal love for all and your special love for the poor.
On earth as it is in heaven . . . may the work of our hands, the temples and structures we build in this world, reflect the temple and the structure of your glory so that the joy, graciousness, tenderness, and justice of heaven will show forth within all of our structures on earth.
Give . . . life and love to us and help us to see always everything as gift. Help us to know that nothing comes to us by right and that we must give because we have been given to. Help us realize that we must give to the poor, not because they need it, but because our own health depends upon our giving to them.
Us . . . the truly plural us. Give not just to our own but to everyone, including those who are very different than the narrow us. Give your gifts to all of us equally.
This day . . . not tomorrow. Do not let us push things off into some indefinite future so that we can continue to live justified lives in the face of injustice because we can make good excuses for our inactivity.
Our daily bread . . . so that each person in the world may have enough food, enough clean water, enough clear air, adequate health care, and sufficient access to education so as to have the sustenance for a healthy life. Teach us to give from our sustenance and not just from our surplus.
And forgive us our trespasses . . . forgive us our blindness toward our neighbor, our self-preoccupation, our racism, our sexism, and our incurable propensity to worry only about ourselves and our own. Forgive us our capacity to watch the evening news and do nothing about it.
As we forgive those who trespass against us . . . help us to forgive those who victimize us. Help us to mellow out in spirit, to not grow bitter with age, to forgive the imperfect parents and systems that wounded, cursed, and ignored us.
And do not put us to the test . . . do not judge us only by whether we have fed the hungry, given clothing to the naked, visited the sick, or tried to mend the systems that victimize the poor. Spare us this test for none of us can stand before your gospel scrutiny. Give us, instead, more days to mend our ways, our selfishness, and our systems.
But deliver us from evil . . . that is, from the blindness that lets us continue to participate in anonymous systems within which we need not see who gets less as we get more. Amen*
Thank you, Lord, for your presence with us these past several days as we have listened to and been challenged by the words of your prophets—those found in scripture and those found in this community—colleagues with whom we share the journey of Catholic health care. As we depart from this space now, we ask you to bless our travels and keep us safe as we return home. Do not let the learning and conversations of this gathering die, but may they continue to ruminate within us and bear fruit in our ministries throughout the year, until we find ourselves together again. We ask this in the name of Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser
God of Compassion
You let your rain fall on the just and the unjust.
Expand and deepen our hearts
so that we may love as You love,
even those among us
who have caused the greatest pain by taking life.
For there is in our land a great cry for vengeance
as we fill up death row and kill the killers
in the name of justice, in the name of peace.
Jesus, our brother,
you suffered execution at the hands of the state
but you did not let hatred overcome you
Help us to reach out to victims of violence
so that our enduring love may help them heal.
Holy Spirit of God,
You strengthen us in the struggle for justice,
Help us to work tirelessly
for the abolition of state-sanctioned death
and to renew our society in its very heart
so that violence will be no more.
– Sister Helen Prejean