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)
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.
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.
We begin by acknowledging that Jesus is Lord, that we live in grace and that eternity awaits us. The enemies of peace are fear, shame and pain. All of these are dissolved by the redemptive Christ and his love. Even when we ask for this peace and don't feel it - it is there underpinning the whole of our being. Like a safety net beneath us, this peace that surpasses all understanding is a constant. It does not change, it cannot fail. It is wider and deeper than we can ever imagine.
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!
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.
Father I know that in Your word it tells us not to worry about anything – but rather to cast all of my burdens upon You - and Father I truly want to do this – but at times I find it so difficult to put this into practice – Lord, at times the circumstances that I am facing are very hard to bear and too often I find myself in an attitude of worry and anxiety.
I surrender and admit: I can't control people, plans, or even all my circumstances, but I can yield those things to you, and focus on your goodness. Thank you today for every good gift you've given, every blessing you've sent, all the forgiveness I did not deserve, and, yes, for every trial you've allowed into my life. You bring good out of every circumstance if I'll only let go and believe you. I know that when I pray and give thanks instead of worrying, you have promised that I can experience the kind of peace that passes all understanding. That's your kind of peace, Lord. And it's the kind I crave.