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.
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.
Whenever I’m stressed, anxious, or afraid, help me remember to run to you. You're the only one that can calm my fears and end my fretful behavior. Whether in trivial or heavy matters, I know you will not only give me peace; Lord, you will be my peace. And when I draw close to you—in prayer, in reading your Word, in helping another, in taking my mind off myself—you will be there, up close and personal.
Hi Mara, we are very sorry to hear about this tragedy, and our prayers are with your love one. To help you better understand the biblical teaching that nothing in this world happens apart from God’s will, a distinction is helpful. There is a difference between God’s positive or active will, and His permissive or passive will. And example of this is that even though God wills for all men to be saved (His positive will) not all men actually are saved (His permissive will). That is to say, God permits that people will use their free will to reject Him. In the same way, He permits that people will use their free will to hurt others. Even though it is not God’s will that any of us commit a sin, yet He permits it. This is part of God’s permissive will. Why God allows evil things to happen to us is a great mystery, yet we can have confidence in His promise that “All things happen for the good of those who love Him.” And this even includes the evil things. God can bring great good out of every evil! This is the glorious mystery of the Cross of Christ.
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.
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.