Oct 24, 2013

Prayer for Peace: The Ways of Peace

Here’s a prayer for peace from the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

A Prayer for Peace in a Time of Fear, Anger and Violence

Lord, somewhere deep inside we know
that it’s not supposed to be like this.

People are not supposed to strap themselves with explosives
and stroll into crowded markets.
People are not supposed to be assassinated with missiles
leaving places of prayer.
People are not supposed to fly airplanes into buildings.
People are not supposed to lose their loved ones on fields of battle.
People are not supposed to dance over the charred remains of their enemies.
Neighborhoods are not supposed to be turned into battle zones,
children are not supposed to be casualties,
and war is supposed to be the last resort, if even then.

It’s the Garden that we miss, Lord;
it’s the Garden that we need.

We carry its memory; we hum its melody; we mourn its absence.
The echo of Eden is peace.
It’s faint, but we still hear it.

The temptation to hate,
to seek revenge in the guise of justice,
to let our anger and fear stake us into the descending spiral of violence
is almost irresistible.

We all want to be safe.
We all want to be secure.
And we think that it’s force that will deliver our safety and security.
So we put our trust in chariots,
and we give ourselves to princes,
and we place our confidence in the strength of our own feeble arms,
and then we’re surprised by wars and the rumor of wars.

So God of Peace, teach us another way;
teach us the ways of peace.
Let us know the peace that we have with you
because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us (Romans 5:1).

By Your indwelling Spirit in our hearts,
cultivate the fruit of your presence, one of which is peace (Galatians 5:22).

Just as in Christ you broke down the walls of hostility
that used to keep us separate from each other,
leaving peace in their place,
so let Jesus be our peace in all of our relationships. (Ephesians 2:11ff).

Let your daughters and sons be known in this world as peacemakers (Matthew 5:9);
use us as your ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20).

And as the angels sang of peace on earth
on the day the Prince of Peace was born,
so inspire us now to beat our swords into plowshares
and to lean into that day when the lion sleeps with the lamb
and your children study war no more.

Plant a seed of peace in New York and in Kabul,
in Washington D.C. and in Baghdad,
in Madrid and in Morocco,
in Gaza and in Jerusalem,
over there and right here, in them and in us,
and let that Garden of shalom we remember sprout and bloom,
we pray in the name of Jesus Christ who is our peace. Amen.

~ from the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Posted on http://www.ncccusa.org/memorialday2004/interfaithresources.pdf