These prayers for peace were offered in Assisi, Italy, on the Day of Prayer for World Peace during the U.N. International Year of Peace, 1986. We remember the sacred words and prayers of the world's peoples throughout the ages as they longed and worked for peace. In this present moment, we pause in our own longing to rest from our work and to touch the center. Here and now, we make their words our own. So may our hearts be joined.
Leader: O God, whose will it is that we should live by the sweat of our brows in honest toil and labor, open the hearts of those who have the power to employ, so that those who labor receive just wages and a humane working environment. Strengthen us, O Lord, so that we may continue in solidarity with the victims of unjust labor and forced migration.
Christ, why do you allow wars and massacres on earth? By what mysterious judgment do you allow innocent people to be cruelly slaughtered? I cannot know. I can only find assurance in the promise that your people will find peace in heaven, where no one makes war. As gold is purified by fire, so you purify souls by these bodily tribulations, making them ready to be received above the stars in your heavenly home.
Loving God, please grant me peace of mind and calm my troubled heart. My soul is like a turbulent sea. I can't seem to find my balance so I stumble and worry constantly. Give me the strength and clarity of mind to find my purpose and walk the path you've laid out for me. I trust your Love God, and know that you will heal this stress. Just as the sun rises each day against the dark of night. Please bring me clarity with the light of God.
Holy One, you do not distance yourself from the pain of your people, but in Jesus bear that pain with us and bless all who suffer at others’ hands. Hallow my flesh and all creation; with your cleansing love bring me healing and strength; and by your justice, lift me up, that in the body you have given me, I may again rejoice. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.