Jul 31, 2013

Prayer: Following the Prince of Peace

Here’s a thoughtful prayer for peace from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.

Prayer for Peace

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. http://www.ncccusa.org/iraq/firstanniversary/iraqanniversarythree.html