If there’s one thing I know for sure right now, it’s that the world wasn’t meant to be like this.
Nice, France. Orlando. Dallas. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. These names, and too many others like them, are my nation’s newest synonyms for tragedy. For the friends and family of those who have died, they represent moments of agony that can never be unwritten. For those whose race or sexuality or occupation has given them reason to fear the same kind of violence, they are threats, reminders that catastrophe is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
Even for me, though these names are little more than headlines to weep over and shake my fist at, they still leave me reeling. They make me wonder how much longer the world as I know it can possibly survive. They make me wonder what I can do, how I should respond, if I too am complicit in this violence.
But you, God, know these names better than all of us. They’re not just names to you. You’ve studied every detail of every life damaged or lost in these tragedies. You’ve numbered the hairs on every head, gathered every tear. The people I’ve only ever known as victims, you’ve known all along as reflections of your own image.
You know far better than I that the world wasn’t made for hatred and pain. You’re the one who knew our human race from the very beginning, the one who breathed life into our dust and called us very good. You know just how beautiful we were intended to be.
So if my heart is breaking right now, surely your heart must be breaking too.
I pray to you not as someone distant and aloof, but as someone near to me, near to us, even in the midst of chaos. I don’t have to shout to get your attention. You are close enough to hear my broken whispers. No matter how strong or weak I feel, no matter how much or how little
I can muster, I’ll start by whispering this:
Give us peace.
You are the sovereign ruler, the mover of mountains, the victor of impossible victories. You are Lord over earthquakes and tsunamis, over nations in turmoil and terrorist plots, over starving children and fleeing refugees and prisoners tortured for their faith. You speckled the sky with stars and set the earth spinning like a top. You own everything, control everything. Your hand allows each mind to think and teaches each heart to beat. There is nothing you can’t do. So I pray, even though it seems impossible:
Give us peace.
Bring an end to violence and hatred and discord. Steady the feet that rush into war and the finger poised on the trigger. Bring justice to the downtrodden, restoration to the marginalized and abused, hope to the hopeless. Guide all those in positions of power—whether that power is political or physical or social—and give them wisdom to use their power wisely. Give them, and all of us, the grace to admit when we are wrong and to seek forgiveness. Give us the grace to forgive.
Help us see your face in the faces of the people around us. Give us courage to love one another even when love seems like a risk. Give us compassion for those who are unlike us. Teach us to listen to those we disagree with, to hear stories that make us uncomfortable. Heal the hatred in the world around us by healing our own hearts first.
Give us peace by making us agents of peace.
Even now, in the midst of the darkness, I believe you are at work. I believe you have the power to fashion something new and beautiful out of our disastrous ruins. Give me patience as you work. Don’t let me rush so quickly into peace that I fail to learn from the chaos. If you’re revealing ugliness in my nation and world so that I can begin to address it and transform it, don’t let me be content to simply sweep it under the carpet. I want more than a temporary cease-fire of my own making. I want true peace, lasting peace.
If tragedy and chaos persist, keep me from apathy. Give me a heart that loves deeply enough to break again and again. Give me a passion for peace that only burns brighter as time goes by.
Thank you that your love has never stopped blazing. Thank you that no matter how many times our human race falls, you have never fallen into apathy. When we are faithless, you remain faithful.
One day, I know, you’ll give us a perfect peace that lasts forever. One day every sorrow will be erased and every tear wiped away. One day pain will be locked in a heavenly museum and hatred will be the stuff of history books.
But I dare to ask for peace sooner than that. I dare to believe, along with King David in
“I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
I dare to plead with you in the name of Jesus, in the name of the one who suffered so I could plead with you:
Give us peace.
Gregory Coles is an author and an English instructor at Penn State University. Learn more at www.gregcoles.com.
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
Prayer for Healing
Prayer for StrengthPrayer for ProtectionMorning PrayersGood Night PrayersThe Prayer of JabezShort PrayersThe Lord’s PrayerThe Prayer of St FrancisSerenity PrayerA Birthday PrayerSinner’s PrayerPrayer for ForgivenessIntercessory PrayerIrish Prayers and BlessingsAdvent PrayersChristmas PrayersThanksgiving PrayerHoly Week Prayers for Each DayEaster PrayersPrayers for My HusbandPrayers for My SonPrayer Quotes
Now available is our new Daily Prayer devotional! An easy way to find start your day with prayer, read today’s prayer and sign up to receive by email.
For Peace & Healing. We are deeply aware of the tragic cycle of continuing violence around the world. As we each find our own way through the complex maze of inner feelings, it is useful to know that we are not alone in our struggles or in our hopes. Even as tragedy and suffering have occurred to so many people now and throughout history, there have also been passionate insightful voices calling for peace and healing. Below are a few special prayers which many have found inspiring.
Prayers Selected by our Visitors & Staff
- Beannacht – John O’Donohue
- At Prayer With Mary – Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB
- We Interrupt This War – Cappy Hall Rearick
- Refuse to Fall Down – Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés
- Prayer for World Peace – Sister Joan Chittister, OSB
- Prayer – Dr. Maya Angelou
- Prayer for the World – Rabbi Harold Kushner
- Wage Peace – Judyth Hill
- Pray For Peace – Ellen Bass
- Here’s what to do during war – Maxine Hong Kingston
- Prayer for World Peace – Dr. Jane Goodall
- Sunlit paths of inner peace – Martin Luther King
- Do Everything with a Mind That Lets Go – Achaan Chah
- Small Wonder – Barbara Kingsolver
- One Altar – Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi
- May we love ever more – Julia Butterfly Hill
- Prayer for Everyday for All Creation – Millionth Circle Initiative
- Instrument of Thy Peace – St. Francis of Assisi
- If There is to be Peace in the World – Lao-Tse
- Blessed are the Peacemakers – Jesus
- When I Despair – Mahatma Gandhi
- Prayer for Peace – Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
- Prayer of Repentance – Meher Baba
- Creator, Open Our Hearts – Alycia Longriver
- Oh Almighty! May He Protect all of Us! – Kathopanisada
- May I Be Filled with Loving Kindness – Tibetan Mantra
- The Lord Bless You and Keep You – Numbers 6:24-26
- Deep Peace of the Running Wave – Gaelic Blessing
- Mychal’s Prayer – Fr. Mychal Judge, FDNY
- Do not stand at my grave and weep – Mary Elizabeth Frye
- Violence never again! – Pope John Paul II
- Make Us Worthy, Lord – Mother Teresa
- Soul of Our Souls – Pashta MaryMoon
- We Give Thanks This Day – Rev. O. Eugene Pickett
- Oh Allah! I Consult You – Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)
- God to enfold me – Carmina Gadelica
- Today I purpose to live – Michael John Faciane
- Condemn us not if we forget – The Holy Qur’an, 2:286
- Circle me Lord – David Adam, Vicar
- Unite in Harmony – `Abdu’l-Bahá
- May Peace Prevail on Earth – Masahisa Goi
- Peace Day Prayer – Sister Rosemarie
- If I speak in the tongues of men – 1 Corinthians
More Prayers For Peace. Here are all of the prayers in our collection that include the word “peace.”
Help Us Select Prayers. If you would like to suggest a prayer for this page, please use our suggestion form.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We come to you and thank you for all of creation. We thank you from taking energy that was no larger than a mustard seed and creating this ever expanding, beautiful and amazing universe for us to live.
We thank you for the Earth, and all its beauty and majesty, and thank you for providing us with the air to breathe, water to drink and food to eat that nourishes us each day.
We thank you for all of your creatures you created and allowed Adam to name and we thank you for the creation of Humankind from the dusts of the universe and the dusts of the earth. We thank you for sending your Son Jesus who died for our sins, so though him we may be forgiven and enter into the New Heaven and be on the New Earth. We thank you for our lives, and we pray that each day we find some small way to honor you.
Lord God, we acknowledge that we have problems and issues here in this time, and this season of your creation. We know that there are evil men present on the Earth, who seek to destroy your creation- all your natural beauties, the air, water, and foods you’ve provided. Lord we know our political systems are in disarray, and we are turning on one another in anger and hate instead of turning to you to seek your guidance, wisdom and love.
Dear Lord, we believe in our hearts that you have the ways and means to change the minds, thoughts and hearts of those in power, and those to make the decisions that affect our very lives. That’s why father in YOUR mighty name God- Creator of the Universe and All that is, was, and ever will be…and in the name of our savior Jesus Christ and the mystery name of Your Holy Spirit, Lord we believe right now that your righteous anger will be poured like a burning oil of a lamp of Heaven on the Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses, Dukes, Lords, Ladies, Presidents, Vice Presidents, Dictators, Prime ministers, Heads of State, Warlords, Chairmen, Senators and Legislators, Heads of Business with dark influence over those, and anyone in a position of power who tries to harm humanity and destroy your creation. Let those doing evil burn in your word and seek you and the relief your redemption. Lord We as a family of Christ and your creation call out to you for the righteous conviction and righteous correction in all of their personal lives, secret dealings, and political decisions.
Lord, we as a nation, as a people, as the Human Race rebuke Lucifer and his army of fallen angels and demons. We take spiritual authority over our lives, our families lives and we claim spiritual authority through the blood of Jesus over our homes, neighborhoods, cities, states and Countries… and we ask that the chains of the Holy Spirit wrap around those devils and Satan’s trying to influence those humans that be in power.
We ask that the Armies of the Lord take those that do evil in bondage and we believe now that those mighty warrior angels are right now casting those Fallen Angels, Demons and Principalities and Powers into the fiery pit of Hell, to be destroyed before all of creation.
Lord we call on you to send your Armies, to wage the secret war from the eyes of us Humans, to battle Lucifer and his armies back, so that we may have a regrowth worldwide, a new chance a slowdown in the plans, extended time for the redemption of the world before the times of the bible prophecy of Revelations. Allow us to find a way to love one another, not just here, but in every country of the world and love one another in Your name Holy God. We pray that this be in Your Will and Your plans for the world. Allow us as Christians more time to come to know you deeper, and allow us the opportunities to have the strength and courage to spread Your works, Your word, and Your love.
Please heal this beautiful planet you gave us to be stewards of. Please help us to do what is right for the environment- not as politicians and scientists tell us what is and what isn’t to be done.. Let us sense your Holy Spirit in our hearts and be given your supernatural wisdom of the workings of this planet to share with our friends, family, communities and world. Again Lord, cause those people who are doing harm to the planet- Your creation- to have the righteous conviction and correction of the Holy Spirit.
We thank you Lord for allowing this prayer prayed by so many to be laid at your feet as a petition of prayer for the World, and we believe that the Lord Jesus has picked up this prayer, read it and the angels of Heaven are singing praises to you Lord God for your mercy and kindness, and that we believe your mighty stamp of approval of this prayer has been placed on it and handed off to the Holy Spirit to do its work in the world on our behalf- again, in accordance of you Will for us, and the world.
We praise your Holy Name Dear God, in your name we pray, Jesus our savior and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
**Please help us continue this project by donating as we run on very limited funds to keep it going. God bless and thank you.
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But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?
For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver,
and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver,
until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. ~ Malachi 3:2-3
Day after day, O God, we call to you for change and redemption in our broken world. But Malachi reminds us that often change and redemption must begin with us, in the refining and purifying of our own lives and our own habits. As we look at the news across the world this week, help us to see our own shortcoming reflected in the stories we read:
- Remind us of the consequences of our abuse of the earth and our desire for lifestyles of convenience at the expense of your creation as freezing temperatures in the United States and record heat in Australia cause the deaths of people and animals.
- Remind us of our responsibility to each other as unrest in Venezuela and Zimbabwe continues to disproportionately hurt vulnerable populations like women and those experiencing poverty.
- Remind us of the effects of our desire for power and control as we watch millions of your children suffer in war-torn countries like Yemen, Syria, and South Sudan, where daily suffering is too often and too easily ignored.
- Remind us of our power to effect change in our political systems, even as we watch with weary eyes as Brexit conflict continues in the United Kingdom, hateful and incendiary language continues to pour from government leaders in the United States, and countries around the world continue the trend of turning inward and denying their duty to care for the last and least of those you created and love.
Be with us, Holy One, as we look at the mirror that shows us who we truly are, facing with boldness the role that our sin plays in the suffering of our world and even our own friends and families. Remind us that we can face our sinful selves without fear because we know that your purifying and refining grace have worked and will continue to work in each of us, transforming us into the people you call us to be so that we, in turn, might participate in your great mission of transforming the world. Teach us to pray with deep conviction and purpose, God of love and redemption, so that we might learn that, in the words of Mother Theresa, “prayer changes us, and we change things.”
Heavenly Father, we find ourselves in abundance. We feel great sadness but also great love in our world. We worry about those who feel forgotten; we worry about the people who tell stories of persecution because their difference is seen as criminal. We turn to you, Holy Creator, to free us from worry and to bless our hurting neighbors with abundant kindness.
We pray for the political leadership in the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. May their citizens may be led out of turmoil and towards harmony.
Bless them, O Lord.
We pray for those who are at the beginning: those who are starting new jobs, those who are moving, and those who are welcoming new children.
Bless them, O Lord.
We pray for the unemployed and the unpaid.
Bless them, O Lord.
We pray for families: couples who are marrying, women who are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, couples who are divorcing, the caregivers, and the ones needing care.
Bless them, O Lord.
We pray for all who work for justice and for all who seek the truth.
Bless them, O Lord.
We pray for the people improving our communities: the blood, bone marrow, and organ donors; the educators; the volunteers; and the funders.
Bless them, O Lord.
We pray for the people who feed us: the hands in the fields and on the farms, the hands that package and test foods, and the hands that cook meals.
Bless them, O Lord.
We pray for those working in health care and for those in their care, for the hungry and the obese, for the disabled, and for those who are healing.
Bless them, O Lord.
We pray for all people making difficult choices.
Bless them, O Lord.
We pray for those who are at the end: the coming home, the graduating, the retiring, the grieving, and the dying.
Bless them, O Lord.
We thank you for the abundance of grace you give to each of us so that we may give grace to the world.
Bless us, O Lord. Amen.
As the words of the Spirit echo in our ears,
“You are my child, my beloved.”
“You bring me delight and joy.”
The news of the week shakes us back to reality,
the world is not as it could be,
the heavenly kingdom struggles to break forth.
Grant us courage in the face of our challenges, Ever-present God.
Help us to mount up with the wings of eagles.
Sustain us, that we may run without wearying.
Show us how to support our neighbors impacted by the government shutdown in the United States,
many of whom are required to work, without receiving their pay.
As the days drag on, and the bills mount, guide us to open our hearts, and hands to support one another.
Be present, Giver of Comfort, with the families of those killed in the siege in Nairobi, Kenya.
Bring peace in the lives of those impacted by the attack, and those who responded to give aid.
Work in all of our hearts to bring about a more peaceful world, we pray.
We pray for leadership in Parliament in the United Kingdom,
as confidence is shaken, and the way forward is uncertain.
May your spirit guide decision-making for the good of all people.
Send your spirit, like a dove, to descend on all who are anxious, we pray:
our neighbors in Mexico struggling with shortages of gasoline,
our neighbors in Australia where nearly 40 suspicious packages have been sent to consulates and embassies,
our neighbors struggling in their relationships,
our neighbors suffering with cancer, diabetes, and a myriad of other illnesses.
our neighbors who are worried, depressed, alone…
Guide us, Holy One, to open our eyes and see the joys in life as well:
Where new love blossoms and steadfast love gives hope,
Where new jobs bring excitement, and long-standing employment brings fulfillment,
Where change brings new opportunities, and tradition brings stability…
Open our eyes
to acknowledge the shadows of life
even as we celebrate rays of hope and healing.
Speak to us again, so that we may remember,
We are your children,
We are your beloved.
And a voice came from above, “You are my beloved child; I love you.” – Luke 3:22
Baptized in water, sealed by the Spirit, marked with the sign of Christ our king:
Born of the Spirit, we are God’s children; joyfully now God’s praise we sing.
Michael Saward, tune: BUNESSAN
Holy One, you who love us beyond measure, you who regard each of us as your own beloved child, we come to you thirsty for the Good News; thirsty for forgiveness, thirsty for justice, thirsty for healing for this earth and all its peoples. Open our eyes, minds, and hearts to the realities of the world in which we live, that we might be filled with your compassion for all those who are in need or in pain, those who are lonely or in danger, those who are without a voice, and those for whom daily living is a trial beyond belief.
Hear us, Gracious God; your mercy is great.
We pray for all those for whom home has become a dangerous place: for the refugees fleeing to the United States from Central America; for Rahaf Al-Qunun, a young Saudi woman who has been granted refugee status by the United Nations and is being welcomed by Australia; for people from South Sudan, Yemen, and Syria who have been forced to flee home for their very lives. May they find a home in your compassionate love, and may we do our best to provide that love in our own lives and neighborhoods.
Hear us, Loving God; your mercy is great.
We pray for all those for whom justice has become a fleeting dream: for the people of the DR Congo, where the presidential election is still in dispute; for Nazanin Zafhari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian citizen who has been held in an Iranian prison for 1000 days and is being denied medical care; for the countless numbers at the southern border of the United States who long to have their requests for asylum heard; for those caught up in the United States criminal justice system for minor crimes and misdemeanors. Grant us courage to speak up and speak out when we see such injustices; grant us the awareness to see these people as our sisters and brothers, your own beloved children.
Hear us, Just God; your mercy is great.
We pray for those for whom freedom of speech is at risk, especially for the people of Venezuela and Guatemala. When they need someone to speak for them, let us not turn away but speak out in ways that are both daring and healing, that the leaders may know that their citizens have sisters and brothers in other places who care deeply.
Hear us, Courageous God; your mercy is great.
We pray, with thanksgiving, for the ways in which the schools of Capetown, South Africa, are making welcoming accommodations for transgender students, letting them know that they are of value, telling them with actions that they are God’s beloved children. Open our hearts to reach out to those in our own countries, in our own neighborhoods, in our own families, who need our hospitality and our acceptance, even as we need yours.
Hear us, Welcoming God; your mercy is great.
All of this we pray in the name of the One who Loves, the One who Comes, the One who calls us each sister or brother. Amen.
Love, said poet Christina Rossetti, “Love came down at Christmas.”
Love spoke to Mary in the voice of the angel Gabriel. Love said: “Fear not.”
Fear not, when you have seen a vision of hope and glory, healing and joy that transcends the universe. Fear not when you are called to be the bearer of wonder and awe. Fear not when you foresee that your path lies through sorrow. Fear not when your very existence will challenges the status quo.
Love spoke then, and speaks to us now: Fear not!
Love spoke to Jesus. In the breath of oxen and ass, Love said: “You will never be alone. You are loved.”
You are loved, you who are vulnerable. You are loved, you who are lost. You are loved, you who are lonely. You are loved, you who are in pain. You are loved, you who will do great things, and you who do not know what to do.
Love breaths on us now: You are wrapped in Love.
Love spoke to the world in the gleam of a star. Love said: “Come.”
Come, you who are wise, and you who are simple. Come, you who seek, and you who think you know. Come, you who want to learn, and you who will tell the tale. Come meet that which is all new, and yet holds the wisdom of the ages.
Love shines on us now: Take the risk. Come!
Love spoke to Herod, in the visit of the wise men. Love said: “It is not too late. It is never too late. Choose Love.”
It is not too late, it is never too late. Not even for tyrants or terrorists, not for bullies or thieves, not for the power-hungry or the wealth-hoarders. It is not too late for you to become more than you ever thought you could be. It is not to late for you to become Love.
Love visits us now: Choose Love!
And this is the prayer of God, for all the peoples of God:
Be Blessed, for you are the Blessing.Be Love, for you are the receivers of Love.
You are Love.
As is our custom every year at Christmas, we offer our love, prayers and blessings for every person, tree, shrub, mountain, stream and living creature in every nation on earth:
Afghanistan … Albania … Algeria … American Samoa … Andorra … Angola … Anguilla … Antarctica … Antigua and Barbuda … Argentina … Armenia … Aruba … Australia … Austria … Azerbaijan … Bahamas … Bahrain … Bangladesh … Barbados … Belarus … Belgium … Belize … Benin … Bermuda … Bhutan … Bolivia … Bosnia and Herzegovina … Botswana … Brazil … Brunei Darussalam … Bulgaria … Burkina Faso … Burundi … Cambodia … Cameroon … Canada … Cape Verde … Cayman Islands … Central African Republic … Chad … Chile … China … Christmas Island … Cocos (Keeling) Islands … Colombia … Comoros … Congo, Republic of (Brazzaville) … Cook Islands … Costa Rica … Côte D’ivoire (Ivory Coast) … Croatia … Cuba … Cyprus … Czech Republic … Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) … Denmark … Djibouti … Dominica … Dominican Republic … East Timor (Timor-Leste) … Ecuador … Egypt … El Salvador … English Name … English Name … English Name … English Name … Equatorial Guinea … Eritrea … Estonia … Ethiopia … Falkland Islands … Faroe Islands … Fiji … Finland … France … French Guiana … French Polynesia … French Southern Territories … Gabon … Gambia … Georgia … Germany … Ghana … Gibraltar … Great Britain … Greece … Greenland … Grenada … Guadeloupe … Guam … Guatemala … Guinea … Guinea-Bissau … Guyana … Haiti … Holy See … Honduras … Hong Kong … Hungary … Iceland … India … Indonesia … Iran (Islamic Republic of) … Iraq … Ireland … Israel … Italy … Ivory Coast … Jamaica … Japan … Jordan … Kazakhstan … Kenya … Kiribati … Korea, Democratic People’s Rep. (North Korea) … Korea, Republic of (South Korea) … Kosovo … Kuwait … Kyrgyzstan … Lao, People’s Democratic Republic … Latvia … Lebanon … Lesotho … Liberia … Libya … Liechtenstein … Lithuania … Luxembourg … Macau … Macedonia, Rep. of … Madagascar … Malawi … Malaysia … Maldives … Mali … Malta … Marshall Islands … Martinique … Mauritania … Mauritius … Mayotte … Mexico … Micronesia, Federal States of … Moldova, Republic of … Monaco … Mongolia … Montenegro … Montserrat … Morocco … Mozambique … Myanmar, Burma … Namibia … Nauru … Nepal … Netherlands … Netherlands Antilles … New Caledonia … New Zealand … Nicaragua … Niger … Nigeria … Niue … Northern Mariana Islands … Norway … Oman … Pakistan … Palau … Palestinian territories … Panama … Papua New Guinea … Paraguay … Peru … Philippines … Pitcairn Island … Poland … Portugal … Puerto Rico … Qatar … Reunion Island … Romania … Russian Federation … Rwanda … Saint Kitts and Nevis … Saint Lucia … Saint Vincent and the Grenadines … Samoa … San Marino … Sao Tome and Principe … Saudi Arabia … Senegal … Serbia … Seychelles … Sierra Leone … Singapore … Slovakia (Slovak Republic) … Slovenia … Solomon Islands … Somalia … South Africa … South Sudan … Spain … Sri Lanka … Sudan … Suriname … Swaziland … Sweden … Switzerland … Syria, Syrian Arab Republic … Taiwan (Republic of China) … Tajikistan … Tanzania; officially the United Republic of Tanzania … Thailand … Tibet … Timor-Leste (East Timor) … Togo … Tokelau … Tonga … Trinidad and Tobago … Tunisia … Turkey … Turkmenistan … Turks and Caicos Islands … Tuvalu … Uganda … Ukraine … United Arab Emirates … United Kingdom … United States … Uruguay … Uzbekistan … Vanuatu … Vatican City State (Holy See) … Venezuela … Vietnam … Virgin Islands (British) … Virgin Islands (U.S.) … Wallis and Futuna Islands … Western Sahara … Yemen … Zambia … Zimbabwe
You are Love.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed meto proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captivesand recovering of sight to the blind,to set at liberty those who are oppressed,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19, Isaiah 61:1,2
We pray for those who are silenced because of oppression, whose words no one hears. You brought your Christ light to the world. Help us to remember, to know and live in this great love. Help us to spread the Good News.
You hear the sobbing and quaking fear of a child. You see the tears and hear the weeping of parents as families are torn apart. You hear the cries of children isolated for days, weeks, and months from their families. We call, we pray for the release of the over 140 children still separated from their families because of U.S. policy. They are not forgotten. How many more hunger at borders, camps and detention centers around the world? Help us to practice mercy with others, the mercy you have given us.
We pray for those who are speaking for release of the imprisoned, the captive and those suppressed. Help us to find our way in doing the same, in small acts of kindness and generous hospitality.
Help us in our silences when we can’t find the words and when we do speak, when we try to polish the words to get them just right and when we stumble and stutter and struggle to speak to you. Open our hearts that we may love with kind words, true words, thoughtful words and necessary words.
Help us to hold deeply in our hearts the truth that behind the published word there are the journalists who are working in harm’s way, taking risks as they interview those being silenced, photographing atrocities and bringing to our awareness unutterably evil deeds.
We pray for those who courageously investigate and report the news, as a tally released this week reports that 348 journalists are currently imprisoned and detained. Sixty are held hostage and eighty were killed in 2018, the highest number ever. We pray for those imprisoned and censored in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt.
Comfort families in their distress. Console journalist colleagues and sustain the news bureaus as they continue to shoulder their resolve in telling the stories and reporting facts in all corners of the world, rushing again and again to each new crisis and staying as conflicts continue over decades. Help us to protect and defend these liberties.
Help us to hear one another’s words; to listen freshly, with curiosity, and to absorb what friends, family and strangers have to say. Calm our ever-present ability to deny, interrupt and discount. Restore our sight to see Christ in the other.
We pray to grow in tolerance and kindness.
All this we ask in your name, in this season of Advent as the world swirls around us..
May your Peace and your Good News be received on this earth.
“For unto us a child is born…
and the government shall be upon his shoulders.”
God, it’s hard to be a citizen.
At each stage of creation, you looked and said, “it is good”. You established The Promised Land as a place to live out your covenant, that you will be our God and we will be faithful as your people. Your prophets preached an ever-more enlightened governance, yearning for righteousness among kings and merchants and citizens. Then you gave us Jesus, born to us as a child but with promise of government upon his shoulders.
We give to Jesus the language of leadership: Lord, Almighty, Prince. But we keep him at arm’s length from decision-making in village, town, city, and nation. We have not learned how to lean on his shoulders and depend on his governance without causing harm, suspicion, and fear. We have abused the power that came with faith, corrupting both. We are still learning to render what is Yours, and what is Caesar’s.
Yes, you are the God of every citizen, however free. You have taught us that nothing separates us from you, no form of principality comes between us. It is with such hope that we pray.
And so, in these very days we remember efforts to suppress voting, to manipulate modern technology for political gain, to divide people by fear, to prefer identity over unity, to upend basic democracy and simple freedom.
And we remember with joy the raised purple fingers and “We Voted” stickers that grew in number, the people who overcame long lines and intimidation and threat to vote, the candidates who stepped forward with zeal in order to serve, the voters who set aside ancient prejudices to vote their hopes.
Lord God, this prayer is for every village, town, city, and nation; for every kind of governance; for every citizen. One day, may You look at us again and say, “it is good.”
A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 40:3-5 (NRSV)
As we journey deeper and deeper into Advent, O God,
we find it harder and harder to wait.
We are impatient.
We want to experience your justice, your salvation, your love.
And waiting is so very hard.
When we look around the world we see the destruction
of earthquakes and fires,
of floods and droughts,
of terror and malice,
of apathy and greed.
Yet, at the same time there are glimmers of hope
and preludes of peace.
New life springs forth in unexpected places.
New opportunities surprise us and captivate our imagination.
Living water and the bread of life are found in the parched deserts of our lives.
Guide our hearts,
So that we may actively work toward the kingdom for which we are waiting.
A time where the promises of scripture are revealed in their fullness.
While we wait,
empower us as we labor to prepare the way,
so your glory will be revealed for all to see.
When what we have is yours and what we receive is a gift from you, we offer up our words of prayer in the knowledge that you are the Word from whom all our prayers flow. We pray with grief for the things that have broken your heart; we pray with joy for the things that have made you dance.
We pray with awareness that we cannot fix the world, but, instead, we can learn to see and taste and touch and know this world as your Creation. In this time and space, we try to take our next step of faith and in so doing, we hope to discover you.
We pray for that which fills us with grief: the devastation from wildfires in California (USA); the violence inflicted on asylum-seekers at the Mexico-United States border; the ongoing conflicts in Yemen; the cruel treatment of the Rohyinga in Myanmar; all who care for someone who struggles with addiction and mental illness; all who wait and watch and weep at the bedsides of loved ones this week.
We pray for that which fills us with fear: the unfolding havoc of climate change around the world; the flaring tensions between Ukraine and Russia; the continued fallout from the murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi; the precariousness of a Brexit deal; the rise of raging, hate-filled political rhetoric in countries near and far from us.
We pray for that which gives us strength: the compassion of strangers who care for migrants in the Mediterranean and in Central America; the rise of women leaders in Ethiopia; the energy of students who fight gun violence in the United States; those who believe we belong to each other; those who live as if we belong to you.
Lord, teach us how to love what you love. Show us how to nurture what you nurture. Reveal to us how to speak your Word, today and in the days to come.