It was a Christian initiative that led to the founding of the Week of Prayer for World Peace in 1974. It soon became an interfaith activity, and now welcomes everyone, of all faith traditions or none, to take part. Our first Chair, the late Dr. Edward Carpenter, former Dean of Westminster Abbey, established the guiding principle of the Week in the words “The peace of the world must be prayed for by the faiths of the world”, and this continues to be the basis of our work today.
For those inspired with the idea of praying with people of all beliefs, three thoughts may be helpful.
- First, the different words we recite are said by neighbours in the same town and the same street every week, and by sharing together we simply bring under one roof what happens anyway under the same sky.
- Secondly, we are convinced that there is only one humanity praying to one supreme consciousness, with whatever different opinions we may have on what that may be.
- Thirdly, we recognise that interfaith partnership does not itself imply agreement.
The things we agree on are many and precious. What we disagree on is precious too. We give our interior assent to all who stand and pray for peace with us. When that is challenging, we withhold our interior assent, yet stand with that person, as a friend and as a partner for peace.
Every year more people are joining in worldwide, including communities and schools in New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Germany, Canary Islands, Australia, Italy and many more. Please let us know how you celebrate. See our details on the contact page.
For dates and details of this year’s events please see our events page.
World Peace Prayer Posted November 15, 2016
World Peace Prayer2016-11-152016-11-15https://darrenmain.com//wp-content/uploads/2017/09/logo.pngDarren Mainhttps://darrenmain.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/post-feature-image.png200px200px
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 emancipated from violence, a new world where fear shall no longer lead men to commit injustice, nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.
Help is to devote our whole life and thought and energy to the task of making peace, praying always for the inspiration and the power to fulfill the destiny for which we were created.
— adapted prayer from the Week of Prayer for World Peace, 1978
Prayer For World Peace
Great God, who has told us
“Vengeance is mine,” save us from ourselves, save us from the vengeance in our hearts and the acid in our souls.
Save us from our desire to hurt as we have been hurt,
to punish as we have been punished, to terrorize as we have been terrorized.
Give us the strength it takes
to listen rather than to judge, to trust rather than to fear, to try again and again to make peace even when peace eludes us.
We ask, O God, for the grace
to be our best selves. We ask for the vision to be builders of the human community rather than its destroyers. We ask for the humility as a people to understand the fears and hopes of other peoples.
We ask for the love it takes
to bequeath to the children of the world to come more than the failures of our own making. We ask for the heart it takes to care for all the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq, of Palestine and Israel as well as for ourselves.
Give us the depth of soul, O God,
to constrain our might, to resist the temptations of power to refuse to attack the attackable, to understand that vengeance begets violence, and to bring peace—not war—wherever we go.
For You, O God, have been merciful to us.
For You, O God, have been patient with us. For You, O God, have been gracious to us.
And so may we be merciful
and patient and gracious and trusting with these others whom you also love.
This we ask through Jesus,
the one without vengeance in his heart. This we ask forever and ever.
(Sister Joan Chittister)