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.
Oh Lord, sometimes my insides feel like a battle zone, where missiles are falling too close to home. Other times I'm caught in an endless storm, with thoughts flying out of control. Confusion reigns, and defeat creeps in to steal my joy. I need your peace—the deep-down-in-your-heart kind that stays with me day and night and speaks confidently into the wind. Calm my anxious spirit, Lord; all the attacking "if-onlys" and "what-ifs" fill me with needless worry.
How awful that someone would neglect your heart like that. I will offer that I have relatives in the emergency services and they see so much struggle, injury, and death that they get desensitized to it. I think that is what you experienced. But I want to thank you for the a wonderful testimony I hear in your post. The joy you had with him to the very end. So many relationships just fall apart under that stress and for even less. You just told us with your words how much you loved him, and what you described is how much he loved you. He did not let his fate prevent him from expressing that love to the end. Your love strengthened him and he was strengthening you to the end. As for what happened in the mortuary, don’t let them undo what your husband offered you, reassurance resting in the love he left you with. I offer what Jesus taught us about that. Your husband was not in that body anymore. Jesus said of the moment that our soul leaves the body, “Wheresoever the body is, there will the vultures be gathered together.” Think about how horrible it sounds that our loved one’s body might be subject to vultures, yet Jesus reassured us, we are gone from that vessel. He also said, “Fear not those that after they have killed the body, they have no more that they can do to you.” Your husband was not in that body anymore. Trust Him. They did not hurt him. You will see your husband again. He promised.
O Great Spirit of our Ancestors, we raise the pipe to you, to your messengers the four winds, and to Mother Earth who provides for your children. Give us the wisdom to teach our children to love, to respect, to be kind to each other so that they may grow with peace in mind. Let us learn to share all the good things that you provide for us on this Earth.
Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.
This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.
Giver of all grace, we pray your peace, which passes all understanding, for us who are developmentally disabled. Grant that we may always be sustained in love, our gifts honored, and our difficulties understood, that none may add to our troubles. We ask this in the name of the one who comforted those who were troubled in mind, Jesus our Savior. Amen.
Compassionate God, support and strengthen all those who reach out in love, concern, and prayer for the sick and distressed. In their acts of compassion, may they know that they are your instruments. In their concerns and fears may they know your peace. In their prayer may they know your steadfast love. May they not grow weary or faint-hearted, for your mercy’ sake. Amen.
Is your heart troubled? Are you feeling like the psalmist, who asked his own soul, "Why are you in despair? And why have you become disturbed within me?" One of the hardest parts of knowing peace is understanding how it has nothing to do with control. If you're having trouble with trust or finding the words to pray above the howling of the scary storms, feel free to offer up these words to the Lord now!