Prayers for justice and peace

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)

O God,
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.


O God:
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.

Justice and Peace are key themes for people of faith throughout our world. Not only are they themes for the world as a whole, but also for our local communities, our homes and our own hearts.

On Tuesday 13th October we kept a special Vigil of Prayer for Justice and Peace at St Chrysostom’s. The Vigil was held following the reception of the body of Fr Ken Leech into church. Fr Ken had requested that if possible such a vigil be held ‘with him.’

We were delighted to receive a wide variety of prayers written for the Vigil. Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote one, as did many other friends and supporters. It was very encouraging to receive prayers from people of differing social and faith backgrounds. Some of the prayers were very personal and written from the heart.

Here is one of the prayers, written by Sue Rainger, a friend of Fr Ken:

We give thanks for Ken, your servant, who sought to transform some of the unjust structures within society, through his life of prayer and action.

Liberator God, who led your people from captivity to Freedom, we ask to be shown ways to be your agents of transformation. Where injustice reigns and despair prevails in your world, may we strive for a fairer way. 

Where people, like Ken, labour for good and struggle against the odds, may we be companions in their endeavour.

Where there are new beginnings, the voiceless find a voice and barriers begin to crumble in the quest for true justice, let our solidarity serve new freedoms.

In the name of Christ,  Amen.

The prayers were printed out and made available for people to read and pray during the Vigil, together with specific prayer requests from the marginalised of our own local community. We now make the prayers available as a resource for the future. Do have a look and perhaps you could use some of the prayers either privately, or publicly.

To read the prayers click: Justice and Peace Prayers Fr Ken Vigil Anyone is welcome to add to the prayers, simply contact us with your prayer.

The Vigil on 13th October closed with this prayer of Eric Milner White:

O God, who wouldest fold both heaven and earth

  in a single peace: Let the design of thy great love lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows; and give peace to thy Church, peace among nations, peace in our dwellings, and peace in our hearts; through thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Funeral Mass order of Service and the Eulogy given can be read here

Here is a collection of powerful prayers for Judgment and justice.
The world can seem unfair and stacked against us, but it is Gods Judgment that matters most.

We invite you to post your prayer request at the bottom of this page.

prayers for justice and peace

A Prayer for Judgment Day

We have prayed for repentance, but those prayers have gone unanswered.
Now, as much as it grieves us to do so, we pray for Judgment in this situation.

We know that You know the end from the beginning, and we only want Your will. If it is time for Judgment, Lord, may it come swiftly.
If, however, there is still room for repentance then we ask that You grant a space for that repentance.

Either way, God, let us trust You in all things.


The Prayer for Justice

WO LORD, hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help.
Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from an honest heart.

Help us to love our neighbors more than we love ourselves, respecting differences,
and embracing our commonalities to find common ground.

Break our hearts for the things that break yours.
Help us to be your echoes of mercy and whispers of love.

Use our hands to extend help to those who are in need of it.
Guide our hearts to an everlasting peace.

Help us to realize that an aching world is waiting for us, your followers,
to be instruments of justice, and stewards of Your Word.

In your name we pray.


A Prayer for Social Justice And Peace

Almighty and eternal God, may your grace enkindle in all of us a love for the
many unfortunate people whom poverty and misery reduce to a condition of life unworthy of human beings.

Rouse in the hearts of those who call you Father a hunger and thirst for social justice and for fraternal charity in deeds and in truth.
Grant, oh Lord, peace in our days; peace to our country, and peace among nations.


A Prayer for Justice In Court

Lord God, Redeemer of all men, I come before you today to ask for justice in court. As the Scriptures say,
God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.

It is my request that your judgment be manifest in court,
though men are fallible, through You justice can be had.

Thank you Lord Jesus, and hear my prayer.


Teach Me Knowledge and Good Judgment

Do good to your servant
according to your word, Lord.

Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I trust your commands.

Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.

You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.

Feast of the Transfiguration 6 August 2010

This liturgy was written for midday prayers at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. It may be reproduced and adapted for local usage.

Download as pdf document

Choose life – Choose peace with justice

We gather in silence.

As we gather we listen to the gong sounding 65 times,
calling us to remember, calling us to pray and act for peace.

As we gather and at any point during the service you are welcome to add the name of a place, person or situation to those already on the paper coming down from the cross.

Blessed is our God, now and unto the ages of ages.

Blessed is our God, who grants us peace and is the source of all peace.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.

Loving God, you create and sustain all that is good and beautiful;
You give life to the earth.

You have called us to wholeness; to the fullness of life
But, as we gather here, we are conscious of our brokenness
Both as persons and as communities.

We have heard the cries for justice and peace
From all the corners of the earth.

We are moved by the tears, the pain and the agonies
of millions around the world.

We sense the dark clouds of war that creep over us;
We sit in the shadow of death.


Help us to fall on our knees and to cry for that vision of unity
Without which we would perish.

Teach us not to deal with others falsely,
Saying “peace, peace” when there is no peace.

Grant us grace that we may walk
In the paths of righteousness.

Bring us to yourself, that our hearts and minds
May discern the way of peace shown by your son.

For you alone have been our help in ages past,
And you are our shelter in the years ahead.


Reading of an eye witness account from Hiroshima

Sing: Ososo, ososo …

Litany of penitence

O Lord, our hearts are heavy
with the sufferings of ages,
with the crusades and the holocausts
of a thousand thousand years.

The blood of victims is still warm.

The cries of anguish still fill the night.

To you we lift our outspread hands.

We thirst for you in a thirsty land.

O Lord, who loves us like a father
who cares for us like a mother,
who came to share our life as a brother:

we confess before you our failure to live as your children,
brothers and sisters bound together in love.

To you we lift our outspread hands.

We thirst for you in a thirsty land.

Sung response: Nkosi Nkosi yibanceba

We have squandered the gift of life.

The good life of a few
is built on the pain of many;

the pleasure of a few
on the agony of millions.

To you we lift out outstretched hands.

We thirst for you in a thirsty land.

We worship death in our quest to possess ever more things;

We worship death in our hankering after
Our own security, our own survival, our own peace,

As if life were divisible.
As if love were divisible.
As if Christ had not died for all of us.

To you we lift out outstretched hands.

We thirst for you in a thirsty land.

Sung response: Nkosis Nkosi yibanceba

O Lord, forgive our life-denying pursuit of life,
And teach us anew what it means to be your children.

To you we lift out outstretched hands.

We thirst for you in a thirsty land.

The Beatitudes – Matthew 5:2-12

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Silence (possibility to listen to Wolfgang Borchert’s Say NO!)

Thanksgiving and intercession

O Lord our God, we thank you
for the many people
who have followed your way of life joyfully:

for the many saints and martyrs, men and women
who have offered up their very lived
so that your life abundant
may become manifest
and your kingdom may advance.

Sung response: Hale hale hale luja

They chose the way of your Son,
our brother, Jesus Christ.

In the midst of trial, they held out hope;
in the midst of persecutions, they witnessed to your power;
in the midst of despair, they clung to your promise.

Sung response: Hale hale hale luja

O Lord, we thank you for the truth
they have learned and passed on to us.

Give us courage to follow their way of life.

For your love and faithfulness
we will at all times praise your name.

Sung response: Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas Deus ibi est

We pray for the millions in our world who must go hungry today,
all who are exploited and marginalized because of their caste or class, colour or sex,
that they may not lose their hope,
and may find the strength to struggle for their dignity.

Sung response: Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas Deus ibi est

We call upon you for those who are persecuted, imprisoned, tortured
or threatened with death because of their witness to justice and peace.

For those who have “disappeared” because they dared to speak,
that their spirits may not be broken by their bodies’ pain.

Sung response: Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas Deus ibi est

We remember those who live in regions torn by tension and war,
by disaster, famine and poverty…

We pray especially for the Middle East, for Pakistan, for Haiti, for the Democratic Republic of Congo, for the horn of Africa, for Sudan …

(other places and situations can be mentioned at this point)

We pray for the millions of refugees around the world,
that in the midst of tears and bitterness
they may discern signs of hope.

Sung response: Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas Deus ibi est

Lord, into your hands we commend our earth,

ever-threatened with disaster,

and all persons and situations we have spoken about,

written down or remembered in the silence of our hearts this day.

Sung response: Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas Deus ibi est

Strengthen our will for peace and justice;

increase our faith in your kingdom where “love and faithfulness will meet,

righteousness and peace will embrace”

and may your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.


The Lord’s Prayer – said together in our different languages

We receive the assurance of God’s peace and blessing and we greet one another in the name of Christ’s peace, first saying together:

Blessed is our God, now and unto the ages of ages.

Blessed is our God, who grants us peace and is the source of all peace.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.

Please take a peace crane with you as a fragile symbol of hope and a reminder to continue our prayers and action for peace. As we leave the gong will begin to sound 65 times again.

Sing: Dona nobis pacem

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