The child you embrace has a name that is dear to the peoples of biblical religion: "Jesus," which means "God saves." So the Archangel named him before he was conceived in your womb (cf. Lk 2,21). In the face of the newborn Messiah, we recognize the face of all your children, who suffer from being despised and exploited. We recognize especially the faces of your children, to whatever race, nation or culture they may belong.
I ran into the people running Holy Land Prayer during a tour of the holy places in Israel last year. They told me about their site and their commitment to connect believers from around the world to the holiest place on earth. I was surprised because I hadn’t heard about it before. When I came back home, I told members in our community about this service and they loved the idea. We now send a prayer together every month, and we Read More...
Lord Jesus Christ, who are called the Prince of Peace, who are yourself our peace and reconciliation, who so often said, "Peace to you," grant us peace. Make all men and women witnesses of truth, justice, and brotherly love. Banish from their hearts whatever might endanger peace. Enlighten our rulers that they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace. May all peoples of the earth becomes as brothers and sisters. May longed-for peace blossom forth and reign always over us all.
Continue to provide me with Your perfect peace of mind that passes man’s understanding and provide me I pray, with the strength to face the difficulties in life that can so often causes our hearts to fail for fear of what is coming on the earth. In the power of Your Spirit give me I pray the strength to stand firm in the evil day – knowing that Your grace is sufficient for all eventualities – for Your strength is made perfect in my weakness.. in my dependence upon You.
O God, surround N. [and N.] with your compassion as she/he/they live[s] with N. in sickness. Help N. [and N.] to accept the limits of what she/he/they can do, that feelings of helplessness and frustration [and anger] may be transformed into serene acceptance and joyful hope in you. Let her/him/them remember the grief and love of Jesus over the afflictions of his friends, knowing that God too weeps. Bring her/him/them gladness and strengthened love in her/his/their service; through Christ our companion. Amen.
Most Holy God, in your word we read so many stories about the ones you have protected as they left home in search of a better life. Your servant Ruth said, “Your people will be my people, your God, my God.” You loved her and found a place for her in Israel. Scripture inspires us to strive for greater hospitality to the poor, the weak and strangers.
I know what it’s like waking up at 3 a.m. and not being able to get back to sleep while my mind races to things I need to do and issues that need to be resolved. Nothing helps me calm my thoughts more than talking to God in prayer. I can’t explain it, but I know that prayer works. Praying for peace of mind is one of the most powerful tools we have access to as people of faith.
Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words “division”, “hatred” and “war” be banished from the heart of every man and woman. Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother”, and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace, Salaam!
"But I say to you that hear, love your enemies; do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you; pray for those who abuse you. To those who strike you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from those who take away your cloak, do not withhold your coat as well. Give to everyone who begs from you, and of those who take away your goods, do not ask them again. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them."
God, your loving-kindness never fails and your mercies are new every morning. I thank you for giving me relief from pain and hope of health renewed. Continue the good work begun in me; that increasing daily in wholeness and strength, I may rejoice in your goodness and so order my life always to think and do that which pleases you; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.
In the midst of illness, God, I pause to give you thanks: for the glory of creation, which reveals in many forms your matchless beauty; for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus our Savior; for your gift of my life and the presence of the Holy Spirit; for loved ones who care for me; and for the companionship of the Church. I thank you, blessed Trinity, holy God, for the gifts which sustain me in my time of need. Amen.
31 For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. 32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. 33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone. 34 To crush underfoot all prisoners in the land, 35 to deny people their rights before the Most High, 36 to deprive them of justice— would not the Lord see such things? 37 Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? 39 Why should the living complain when punished for their sins? 40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. 41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: 42 “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven. 43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain without pity. 44 You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through. 45 You have made us scum and refuse among the nations. 46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths wide against us. 47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls, ruin and destruction.” 48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed. 49 My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief, 50 until the LORD looks down from heaven and sees. 51 What I see brings grief to my soul because of all the women of my city. 52 Those who were my enemies without cause hunted me like a bird. 53 They tried to end my life in a pit and threw stones at me; 54 the waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish. 55 I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. 56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” 57 You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” 58 You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life. 59 LORD, you have seen the wrong done to me. Uphold my cause! 60 You have seen the depth of their vengeance, all their plots against me. 61 LORD, you have heard their insults, all their plots against me— 62 what my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long.
Though we may realize our faith is most strengthened, not in the easy times of life, but in the most trying, it’s often hard to walk that out once we're swirling in the midst of it all. We long for carefree days, yet sometimes, God takes our hand and leads us straight into the darkest of times. Not to harm us, ever. But to bring greater strength, character, trust, beauty, and perseverance to the deepest part of our souls.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith the salvation of your souls. (1 Pet 1.3-9)
They're hurting for many reasons, and I ask You to help them through this season of loss. I reach out to You, the Father of compassion and the Source of every comfort, asking You to touch them with Your unfailing love and kindness. Be their God who comforts them as they're going through their struggles, and bring them through the tough things ahead. Come alongside them in their pain, and strengthen them so they'll one day be able to help others who face the same struggles. (2 Corinthians 1:3–4; Psalm 33:22; 1 Samuel 20:14a)