Peace & Reconciliation

What makes for peace?

Resources for Prayer on Peace & Syria, Global Ministries, USA

For an excellent selection of ready-to-use prayer and worship resources gathered by Global Ministries, USA, click here.  Numerous resources helpful to congregations and individuals have been included, arising from a variety of faith traditions.

 

The Lord is my Light: a prayer service for Syria —Mennonite Central Committee, USA

A complete service is provided including:

Prayer inspired by Lamentations 5
Remember, O Lord, what has befallen your children;
Look, and see their pain and suffering.
Five years of tension, of scarce resources, of lost community and identity,
Their inheritance has been turned over to strangers, their homes, schools and businesses destroyed in the violence.
They have become orphans, fatherless; their mothers are now widows.
They are weary, but are given no rest.

 

A Prayer for Hope –Christian Aid, UK   (on the Global Ministries, USA site)
Lord, hear our prayers for Syria.
For people leaving everything behind to flee to safety,
for those who have lost loved ones,
for lives interrupted,
educations stalled and families separated.
Lord, bless your people.
We thank you for the work of partners,
for the hospitality of neighbours, the generosity of strangers,
for those who give of themselves to help others,
for those who refuse to be silen
t in the face of injustice.
Lord, bless your people.
Lord, give the people of Syria hope,
for peace and justice to prevail,
for there to be new beginnings for all people living in that land,
for freedom to replace fear and for there to be a better tomorrow.
Lord, bless your people.
Amen.

The Bridge finalShantideva, a Buddhist, wrote this prayer in 700 A.D.
It is performed each morning by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

May I be a guard for those who need protection
A guide for those on the path
A boat, a raft, a bridge for those who wish to cross the flood
May I be
a lamp in the darkness
A resting place for the weary
A healing medicine for all who are sick
A vase of plenty, a tree of miracles
And for the boundless multitudes of living beings
May I bring sustenance and awakening
Enduring like the earth and sky
Until all beings are freed from sorrow
And all are awaken
(on the Global Ministries, USA site)

Though the words are exclusive, the sentiment is eternal. Please feel free to read with words that include you and others…

Thandiwe at Mfanefile SchoolI dream a world where man [sic]
No other man [sic] will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man [sic] is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind [sic]-
Of such I dream, my world!

from AllPoetry.com

God of love, mercy, and grace, we…thank you that, on this day and in this place, we are united in praise. We rejoice in ecumenical agreements found, in dialogue pursued and sustained with patience and for the hope and promise of what will yet be.
God, always constant, always new, bless us with hope.
We rejoice in the gifts of all your people and the service offered in and through your churches for the transformation and tending of your world. We pray for priests and ministers, for bishops and councils; for elders and preachers, lay readers and churchwardens, that all may be encouraged in service. We pray for wisdom to sustain good and holy forms of ministry and for imagination and faithfulness in renewing the church.
God, whose service is freedom, inspire our serving.
We thank you for the traditions of prayer and learning, of worship, ministry and daily life, that we inhabit and which you bless. Give us grace to learn of you from one another and the generosity to share and receive our distinctive gifts, that we may know both your constancy and your originality and discern together the shape of faithful discipleship.
God, who travels with us, help us to journey together.
We pray for your guidance and grace as we engage together in discussion and dialogue. Hep us to be both bold and vulnerable, always ready for the testing work of true reconciliation. Be with us as we talk of church and nation, of how we may discern your will, and of what it means to be the Church. Help us to honour our traditions, to be faithful to the needs of today and to be open to a future shaped by your Holy Spirit.

Eternal God…guide and strengthen us…that we may give ourselves in love and service to one another and to you….Amen.
Followed by the singing of For the healing of the nations by Fred Kaan

From “A Service of Reconciliation, healing of memories, and mutual commitment for the Church of England and the United Reformed Church,” 7 February 2012, Westminster Abbey, London UK — on the 350 Anniversary of The Great Eviction

IMG_5923Peace

Your promise

Our hope

Peace in our communities…

Unite us to raise our voices against violence in our homes

in our churches

in our schools

in our work places

Peace on our earth…

Unite us to take a stand, to act

to become eco-churches

to go green in our homes and communities

to demand powers support agreements and protocols

to protect our lands and rivers from harm

Peace in the marketplace…

Unite us to make a difference

to promote sustainable production and consumption

to support ecological security over national security

to put our money to work for justice through fair trade and fair taxes

Peace among people…

Unite us to be peace makers

building peace among people

promoting human rights

churning arms into ploughshares

Peace perfect peace

Show us how to walk the peace path

Your hope

Our promise.

Inspired by the article “Planning for Peace,” printed in the Council for World Mission magazine, “Inside Out”

flower in stone artLord Jesus,
We ask that when we are tired and weary and longing for rest,
you come and provide for us.
When we cannot find your peace in our country and long for your blessing,
provide for us.
As we join the great circle of prayer with all the saints,
we ask you to come into our lives.
When there seems to be no hope,
Lord Jesus you are our hope and our future.
Amen

peace dove world stitchery ShaftsburyWe pray for peace in our world, our nations, our communities and our homes.
The Disciples Peace Fellowship offers weekly Peace Prayers relevant to the concerns of today. It is easy to subscribe so a prayer posp up in your email each week.

Peace prayer archives – Disciples Peace Fellowship
The Disciples Peace Fellowship is connected to the Christian Church – Disciples of Christ USA which is an international partner with the United Reformed Church UK and many other faith groups throughout the world.

Holocaust Memorial SF CA

Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.

Hebrews 13:3

With these words we pray together for those who are in prison all over the world, those easily forgotten.

We pray especially for the political prisoners of Palestine and Israel.

We pray for the sick among them and those who cannot handle the hardship of a prison cell,

for the children and women who are mistreated behind bars.

We also remember those left behind, the families who are bereaved as their beloved ones are sent to prison.

We pray for inner transformation for those who committed crimes, and in need of conversion.

We pray for hearts and minds that are haunted by hatred and fear, that we will soon find peace and reconciliation in souls and in the societies.

This region aches with so much troubles of the body and soul, both presently and in history.

In Palestine and Israel today many lack freedom and too many are behind bars.

For too long injustice, violence and fear have shaped this region.

We pray and ask for human treatment and justice for all, as we are all children of God.

At last we pray for a just peace settlement and reconciliation,

a peace where there will be no more political prisoners behind bars

and where harmony will prevail in the hearts of all the peoples of this region.

We pray for God’s mercy, for freedom for those in shackles and for peace in our time.

As we observe this week with our brothers and sisters from churches all over the world we pray:

Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;
may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
for we are in desperate need.

Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake. Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Before our eyes, make known among the nations that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants. May the groans of the prisoners come before you; with your strong arm preserve those condemned to die.

Psalm 79, 8-11

Palestinian church leaders in Jerusalem shared this prayer for the 2014 World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, an annual initiative of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches.  Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice and peace unite during the week to take peaceful actions, together, to create a common international public witness.

The World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel events and activities follow three principles:

1. Praying with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem and other worship resources prepared for the week.
2. Educating about actions that make for peace, and about facts on the ground that do not create peace, especially issues related to prisoners.
3. Advocating with political leaders using ecumenical policies that promote peace with justice.

The action week’s message is that now:

  • It’s time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace.
  • It’s time for freedom from occupation.
  • It’s time for equal rights.
  • It’s time for the healing of wounded souls.

IMG_4036Passing or sharing the “Peace of Christ” is a common element in Christian worship.  What words feel comfortable for your congregation?  To read a selection of variations on the theme click here.

Picture-PeaceFlowerwithAllReligious

Click here for full texts.

Baha’i Prayer for Peace
…Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart, and a fruit upon the tree of humility.
Buddhist Prayer for Peace  …May the powerless find power and may people think of befriending one another….

Hindu Prayer for Peace
…May there be peace on earth. May the waters be appeasing. May herbs be wholesome, and may trees and plants bring peace to all. May all beneficent beings bring peace to us.

Islamic Prayer for Peace
…And the servants of God Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility, and when we address them, we say, “Peace.”

Jain Prayer for Peace
…. A weapon, however powerful it may be, can always be superseded by a superior one; but no weapon can be superior to nonviolence and love.

Jewish Prayer for Peace
… And we shall beat our swords into ploughshares and our spears into pruning hooks….

Native African Prayer for Peace
O Great Spirit of our Ancestors, we raise the pipe to you,… Let us learn to share all the good things that you provide for us on this Earth.

Shinto Prayer for Peace
…why are there constant troubles in this world? …

Sikh Prayer for Peace
… Know that we attain God when we love…

Zoroastrian Prayer for Peace
We pray to God to eradicate all the misery in the world….

These prayers for peace were offered at the Church of Saint Francis of Assissi, Italy, on the Day of Prayer for World Peace during the United Nations International Year of Peace, 1986 when Pope John Paul II convened representatives of the world’s religions to gather  to pray together.

For the first time in history, we have come together from every where, Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities, and World Religions, in this sacred place dedicated to Saint Francis, to witness before the world, each according to his own conviction, about the transcendent quality of peace. The form and content of our prayers are very different, as we have seen, and there can be no question of reducing them to a kind of common denominator. Yes, in this very difference we have perhaps discovered anew that, regarding the problem of peace and its relation to religious commitment, there is something which binds us together.

Pope John Paul II, Assisi World Day of Prayer 27 October 1986

These prayers have been used in interfaith services held in Rochester, Kent, UK, and were submitted to Worship Words by Faran Forghani, Chairman- Medway Inter Faith Action (MIFA), Kent, United Kingdom.

 

Remembrance Day, 11 Nov

With what words do we remember? With what words do we turn from the memories of war to the hope of peace?   Newest ‘Remembrance Day’ posts . . . (images link to posts) Remembrance services are held both in churches and at war memorials.  For some this is an opportunity to focus on peace. White […]

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Peace call to worship — Susan Pickering, Australia

Consider using for: International Day of Peace, 21 September Hiroshima Day, 6 August   Jesus said; “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” We are called to be peacemakers, to stand against injustice, inequality and oppression For injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Let us gather, as the […]

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Anzac Prayer — Brisbane Roman Catholic Church

God of our Mothers and Fathers, we pray for the peace of the world. We especially entrust to your mercy the homeless and refugees; those who have been dispossessed through war; those whose lives and families have been disrupted; and who mourn the loss of loved ones. We pray for countries who are war-torn even […]

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Remembering, a hymn for ANZAC Day — George Stuart, Australia

  Tune: St. Anne Click here to access free downloads.       In contemplation on this day Both pride and sadness grow; We laud the courage on display; Yet tears can overflow.   White crosses filling endless fields Remind us of those lost; We long for respite, that which shields Us from war’s wicked […]

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Prayer for peace, Order of St Luke — Australia

Dearest Friend, gentle Spirit, breath of live, source of our being, from the peacefulness of silence, the silence that preceded Creation, your Word entered the void and said, ‘Let there be light.’ This afternoon we sit mindful that we are kin and covenanted to that Word and to your light. We are grateful to you, […]

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Prayer response to violence, 1 John 4:20

Adapted from a prayer written by Revd Terri Hord Owens, USA, originally forged in response to peaceful demonstrations and violent response in Charlottesville, North Carolina USA. God of Love, our hearts break at the violence in our world, the loss of life, the dishonoring of children of God, the vile insults hurled and the wounds of […]

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Hiroshima Day, 6 August

What words can express the horrors of war? The atrocity of dropping an atom bomb on Hiroshima?  Nagasaki? The complicity of citizens? The heart-wrenching desire to set things more right. The craving for forgiveness and atonement? Spirit of Peace, hear our prayer. “U.S. airman Matthew McGunigle photographed the Hiroshima blast. After the war, he entered […]

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The hard work of growing peace — Steve Garnaas-Holmes, USA

Let me stand before enemies with love prepared to break soil, to prune branches to do the hard work of growing peace   For I will need stout tools to work this rough land well, to bring fruits of justice out of rocky earth, to tend the muscular trees of mercy.   Steve Garnaas-Holmes serves […]

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Day for Syria 21/09

Day of Action and Prayer for Syria & Peace 21 September What words can express the horror, the sadness, the hope, the truth? Newest ‘Day for Syria’ posts . . . (images link to posts) Alphabetical archive of all ‘Day for Syria’ resources . . . Words to help us face the situation in Syria…    

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World Week for Peace in Palestine & Israel

Each September the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum of the World Council of Churches invites participation in this week of advocacy and action supporting an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel.  Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice unite during the week to take […]

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May I be a bridge…Daily Prayer–Shantideva, India

Daily Prayer, by Shantideva, Buddhist sage 700 A.D., India Prayer performed each morning by His Holiness the Dalai Lama May I be a guard for those who need protection A guide for those on the path A boat, a raft, a bridge for those who wish to cross the flood May I be a lamp […]

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International Day of Peace 21 September

The International Day of Peace, marked each year on 21st September, is a time for individuals, community groups, nations and international organisations to re-commit to the way of peace with justice. The UnitingJustice Australia website provides worship resources, including a Call to Worship, Litany for Peace, prayers of confession and intercession, blessing and dismissal, UnitingJustice Australia is […]

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I Dream a World — Langston Hughes, USA

Though the original words are exclusive, the sentiment is eternal. The bracketed phrases have been inserted to include everyone…   I dream a world where [each person] No other [person] will scorn, Where love will bless the earth And peace its paths adorn I dream a world where all Will know sweet freedom’s way, Where greed […]

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Prayers for Remembrance Sunday — Cara Heafey, UK

Merciful God, your love embraces all of creation. Your realm knows nothing of the borders we draw between nations. You have taught us that every woman, man and child is our neighbour. You have commanded us to love, love, love, without thought of our own security, or glory, or gain. Remind us that you have […]

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Scouts International Peace Light Service

Each Advent season, the Scout International Peace Light travels from Bethlehem around the world. Towns and faith communities hold services for receiving the light and for sending it forth. These resources are for use in a Peace Light Service. Peace Light Prayer May the kindly spirit of Christmas spread its radiance far and wide, So all the […]

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Passing the Peace

Passing or sharing the “Peace of Christ” is a common element in Christian worship.  What words feel comfortable for your congregation?  Here are some variations on the theme…      

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Prayer and Action for Peace — Ana Gobledale, UK

            Peace Your promise Our hope   Peace in our communities… Unite us to raise our voices against violence in our homes in our churches in our schools in our work places   Peace on our earth… Unite us to take a stand, to act to become eco-churches to go green […]

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Peace Prayers — Disciples Peace Fellowship, USA

We pray for peace in our world, our nations, our communities and our homes.  The Disciples Peace Fellowship offers weekly Peace Prayers relevant to the concerns of today.  It is easy to subscribe so the prayers pop up in your email each week.   The Disciples Peace Fellowship is connected to the Christian Church – Disciples […]

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