Prayers for peace and justice

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

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

prayers for peace and justice

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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Not the book you’re looking for? Preview — Prayers for Peace and Justice by Jay Lawlor by Jay Lawlor 4.50  ·  Rating details ·  2 ratings  ·  0 reviews The history of humanity is littered with conflict and struggle. Nonetheless, God has sent us prophets and messengers to call us to repentance and renewal. In the person of Jesus of Nazareth we gained God’s own son in human flesh. Jesus founded a movement to show us the way to justice, peace, and love.

Our source for being and our strength to live into our mission is God. O

The history of humanity is littered with conflict and struggle. Nonetheless, God has sent us prophets and messengers to call us to repentance and renewal. In the person of Jesus of Nazareth we gained God’s own son in human flesh. Jesus founded a movement to show us the way to justice, peace, and love.

Our source for being and our strength to live into our mission is God. One way that humanity engages with God is through prayer. But we should be clear that prayer is not passive. Prayer is our call to action. When we pray to God for peace and justice, we are asking God for guidance and strength so we can go about the work of promoting peace and justice through God’s love.

The Rev. Jay Lawlor, an Episcopal priest and author, presents a collection of prayers on peace and justice from the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer.


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Gracious Lord,

we dream of a world free of poverty and oppression,

and we yearn for a world free of vengeance and violence.

we pray for your peace.

When our hearts ache for the victims of war and oppression,
help us to remember that you healed people simply by touching them…,
and give us faith in our ability to comfort and heal bodies and minds and spirits
that have been broken by violence.

When the injustice of this world seems too much for us to handle,
help us to remember that you fed five thousand people
with only five loaves of bread and two fish…,
and give us hope that what we have to offer will turn out to be enough, too.

When fear of the power and opinions of others
tempts us not to speak up for the least among us,
help us to remember that you dared to turn over the tables of money changers…,
and give us the courage to risk following you without counting the cost.

When we feel ourselves fill with anger at those who are violent and oppressive,
help us remember that you prayed for those who killed you…,
and give us compassion for our enemies, too.

When we tell ourselves that we have given all we can to bring peace to this world,
help us to remember your sacrifice… ,
and give us the miracle of losing a little more of ourselves
in serving you and our neighbors.

Walk with us, Lord, as we answer your call to be peacemakers.
Increase our compassion, our generosity and our hospitality for the least of your children.
Give us the courage, the patience, the serenity, the self-honesty
and the gentleness of spirit that are needed in a world filled with turmoil and terror.  Amen.

~ written by Jack Knox, pastor of Salem (Oregon) Mennonite Church
Posted on Glocal Christianity: the blog of Matt Stone 

Dear God, we hear of peace only as a faraway dream;

we long for it in our lives, in the lives of our families,

our friends, and our countries.

But with each passing day

the prospect for peace

seems to be increasingly tantalizing.

Restlessness seems to be

the order of our present existence:

our inner restlessness rooted in various anxieties,

our societal restlessness rooted in

the evils that go on around us,

the restlessness of our world

plagued by conflicts of all sorts.

Dear God, we hear of peace only as a dream;
a dream we would love to be part of,
a dream we long to have in our hearts, in our neighborhoods,
in our countries, and even in our churches.

We pray that we may experience that peace
that passes all understanding,
we pray, O God, that we may experience You,
the Peace of the world.

Penetrate the grieving heart,
accompany the lonely one,
remember the forgotten,
reclaim the strayed,
make music out of the
disharmony of conflict and chaos.
Let our restless hearts rest in you, O God.
This we pray in the name of the Christ,
who beckons us into the vision of Peace. Amen.

~ written by David Tonghou Ngong
Posted on the Lakeshore Baptist Church website

Hidden, eternal, unfathomable, all-merciful God,

beside you there is no other god.

You are great and worthy of all praise;

your power and grace sustain the universe.

God of faithfulness without falsity, just and truthful,
you chose Abraham, your devout servant,
to be the father of many nations,
and you have spoken through the prophets.

Hallowed and praised be your name throughout the world.
May your will be done wherever people live.
Living and gracious God, hear our prayer;
our guilt has become great.
Forgive us children of Abraham our wars,
our enmities, our misdeeds toward one another.
Rescue us from all distress and give us peace.
Guardian of our destiny,
bless the leaders and rulers of the nations,
that they may not covet power and glory
but act responsibly
for the welfare and peace of humankind.

Guide our religious communities and those set over them,
that they may not only proclaim the message of peace
but also show it in their lives.

And to all of us, and to those who do not worship among us,
give your grace, mercy, and all good things,
and lead us, God of the living,
on the right way to your eternal glory. Amen.

~ written by Hans Kung
Posted in Prayers for Peace and Justice, on the Reformed Church in America website

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. Amen

~ written by Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Sister of Erie
Posted on World Prayers

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 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 us 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 and all men were created.

~ Prayer for World Peace, 1978.
Posted on Catholic Online website.

Loving God, you inspire us with love for all persons

and 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.

Forgive us for the arrogance that leads to moral blindness,
for desires for vengeance and retaliation,
and for willingness to sacrifice others for our own security and avarice.

Help us to renounce all forms of violence:
prejudice, unfair allegations, intolerance, and injury.

Give us the courage to resist threatening postures,
calls to arms, mobilization of troops and weapons, and
all actions that threaten the lives and livelihoods of innocent people.

Empower us to live out the caring presence
of the merciful and generous persons we claim to be.

Make us channels of your peace, bearers of healing,
women and men who hear and respond with alacrity
to pleas for justice in our world.

We ask all this in the name of Jesus
who came among us to show us the way.

~ from the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Posted on the Center of Concern website

God of justice and peace, love and life,

we confess that we are often overcome by the loud and persistent voices of fear and anger.

We do not hear the voice of Jesus, which seems but a whisper.

Fear trumpets,
“Kill those whom you fear may kill you.
The strong shall inherit the earth and the rich shall forever rule the earth.”
Yet Jesus says,
“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

Anger proclaims,
“Those who live by the sword shall not only live, but flourish. Might makes right.”
But Jesus says,
“Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword shall die by the sword.”

Fear instructs us,
“Forgive no one. Those who wrong you are wrong; by forgiving them,
you excuse the wrong and only encourage them.”
Yet Jesus warns us,
“If you do not forgive people their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Anger declares,
“Hate those who hate you; loving those who hate you
only encourages them to take further advantage of you.”
But Jesus asks,
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.”

Fear shouts out,
“Show everyone how strong we are so they will be afraid to challenge us.
This is the way to prosper.”
Yet Jesus asks,
“What does it prosper people to gain the whole world and lose their life?”

The voices of anger and fear seem so strong,
the wisdom so alluring, the way so sensible and safe.
Still Jesus tells us that there is another way—
the way of peace and justice, the way of love and life.

When we lack the courage to seek your way, O God,
when fear and anger overwhelm our faith,
encourage and embolden us.
Open us, O God, that we may follow the Prince of Peace.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen

~ from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program
Posted on the National Council of Churches USA website

Almighty, all-merciful God,

through Christ Jesus you have taught us to love one another,

to love our neighbors as ourselves,

and even to love our enemies.

In times of violence and fear,

let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts,

so that we may not be overcome with evil

but overcome evil with good.

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 these things in the name

and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ From a collection of Prayers for Times of National and International Crisis and Tragedy
Posted on the PCUSA website

Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord.

Lord, hear our voices!

Above the sound of rockets and the weeping of those bereaved,
hear our earnest prayers!

We look on in horror
at children killed,
homes and schools hit,
smoking rubble.

We listen in fear
to voices speaking defiance,
vowing revenge,
claiming violence as a solution.

We mourn with
all who have lost loved ones,
all who have fled the fighting,
all who will lie down in fear this night.

We wait for the Lord, our souls wait,

and only in the Prince of Peace can we hope;
our souls wait for the Lord,
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch in fear for what destruction the morning’s light will show.

O peoples of this troubled region,

may your angry voices be calmed,
may love drive out hatred,
may God’s peace settle upon you.

May God redeem all who call for further killing.

May the horrors of these days give fresh determination to the peacemakers.
And may we see conflict here no more. Amen.

~ Posted on the Christian Aid website

Gracious God,

Increase our doubt that armaments and wars bring peace;

that science and intelligence alone can cure the ills of the world;

that human beings are the controllers of all things.

Give us grace to blush for our mistakes and arrogance,

forgiveness for our foolishness

and power to live as stewards of creation,

through Jesus Christ our Lord

Merciful God,
deliver us from
the cowardice that dares not face new truth
the laziness that is content with half truth
the arrogance that thinks is knows all truth

May we plead no extenuating circumstances,
o frailty of nature, no force of temptations,
no persuasions of those who lead us astray.
Grasp us with zeal and fiery commitment
to the purposes of grace in Jesus Christ our Lord

Almighty God,
You have brought us to this hour by our several ways.
Unfaithful as we have been, You have nevertheless kept faith with us.
Pry us from the host of distractions to which we give ourselves so freely.
Strengthen our resolve to commit ourselves to the Gospel.
Counter our desire for wealth and reputation with an urge to serve
In the way of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

~ from the Mission and Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland.  Posted on the Starters for Sunday website.

Holy God, on the eve of yet another war, we recognize that it is already too late–

the children’s bodies are already wrapped up for burial

the widows already grieve

the ground is covered with the dust of grenades and bombs

War has entered the world again, but we pretended not to notice because it didn’t involve us.

Now our eyes are opened again, but we still cannot see the full picture.

We don’t know all of what happened. We don’t know the end.
We can speculate.
We can hope.
We can spray our own bullets and missiles.
We can pray.
We can angrily denounce and at the same time ready the warships.

Lord, teach us again and again how to beat our swords into plowshares
and our spears into pruning hooks
How to turn our weapons from instruments of violence into instruments of rebuilding;
to plant seeds where there was burning
in the ground and in the hearts of the people,

may we plant seeds of hope and peace

May we always, always, always
pray for the day
when nation shall not lift up sword against nation
when we shall learn war no more.

May we do more than pray
May we live into this hope by teaching ourselves and our children
How to live in peace with one another
How to build peace between one another
How to teach peace to others
How to live Your peace in our world.

We pray for peace.

We pray with our hands and our feet and our hearts and our mouths.
We pray for peace with our very lives.

O Prince of Peace, come, come again
Come again and teach us how to be peacemakers.


~ written by Rev. Mindi, and posted on Rev-o-lution

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