Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Call to Pray. God, working through us

Dear Friend,
The rupture is now again so raw that only mutual confession, repentance, Yom Kippur, Gethsemane, Golgatha and the empty tomb in our hearts are the only things that will bring about the changes we need. With thanks to Doug Dicks, our PCUSA liaison in Amman, Jordan. JRK

A prayer as we hear the news from Gaza and Israel
God of the ages,
we watch the images,
we hear the words,
we see the articles,
and our hearts break,
our souls ache,
our words falter.
We yearn to respond,
to reach out to Israelis and Palestinians,
all our sisters and brothers.
Show us ways to show our care.
Guide leaders of nations and people
to break the cycles of violence;
to seek the ways of peace;
to do justice; and
to walk humbly with you.
We pray in Jesus’ name.
Presbyterian Peacemaking Program

A prayer for peace in the Middle EastO
Prince of Peace, silence the thunder of howitzers and Kalashnikovs and the roar of F-16s and Katyushas that the screams of pain, the cries of mourners and the pleas for mercy and peace may be heard. In the midst of battle, prepare tables in green places where sworn enemies might break bread together and discover their oneness in You. Make us instruments of your healing and peace and lead us all along new paths of righteousness toward that time when You will reign in all fullness and glory and we will all dwell with You in justice, unity, and peace forever. This we ask in your blessed name, Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Rev. Robert D. Stoddard, Jr., Parish Associate, West Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, DE (Former Vice President for Development, Lebanese American University)

Peace with justice and the justice that leads to peace
God of the ages,
touch the hearts and minds,
spirits and souls
of the leaders of Israel and of Hamas.
Teach them anew that
hope for a just peace
cannot come from violence.
Grant them the faith and courage
to do justice peacefully
and to pursue peace justly.
Inspire the leaders of the world
to act in ways that will support
such efforts.
We pray in Jesus’ name.
This prayer is based on email exchanges between staff members of the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

A prayer on the futility of violence
God of justice and God of love,
remind your children in Gaza, in Israel, and around the world
of the futility of violence.
Help all of us
recognize that taking an eye for an eye
leads not to peace but
only to deeper blindness for everyone.
Help all of us
find the courage
to break cycles of violence,
establish new ways of relating
and pursue a better future together.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
This prayer is based on email exchanges between staff members of the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

A prayer in a time of international crisis

Eternal God, our only hope,
our help in times of trouble:
show nations and peoples
ways to work out differences
without resort to violence.
Do not let threats multiply
or power be used without compassion.
May your will overrule human willfulness,
so that people may agree and settle claims peacefully.
Hold back those who are impulsive,
lest desire for vengeance overwhelm our common welfare.
Bring peace to earth, through Jesus Christ,
the Prince of Peace and Savior of us all. Amen.
Book of Common Worship, p. 799, #861, adapted

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