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 pronounced your blessing,
not upon nations and armies,
but upon the poor, and the meek, and the peacemakers.

Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

We remember those who have lost their lives as a result of war;
Young soldiers, dispatched to far-away places, never to return
And civilians, young and old, caught in the crossfire of conflict.

Loving God, bring healing to families torn apart by war.
Comfort those who mourn for their loved ones.

Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

We remember those who have been psychologically wounded by the horrors of war
Who find themselves unable to live with the burden of having taken away human life
Those who dehumanise ‘the enemy’ in order to carry out acts of violence
And find their own humanity diminished as a result.

Loving God, bring healing to hearts and minds that are broken
Reveal to us your image deep within us and within every other human life

Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

We remember the ecological cost of war; the landscapes that bear the scars of bombing,
The soil and water poisoned by the chemical residue of weapons,
The scorched earth churned to dust by heavy vehicles,
The destroyed forest-habitats of birds and creatures
And the innocent animal lives lost amongst the ‘collateral damage’.

Loving God, bring healing to the earth
Make a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland

Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

We remember those living, now, under oppressive regimes
Or in the midst of violence and conflict.
The millions displaced from their homes to refugee camps
The communities struggling on with their daily lives under the shadow of war
Fearing for their lives, and the lives of their children

Loving God, bring healing to nations where there is unrest
Inspire in us hope for a world where all can live in dignity and safety

Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

We remember those who campaign for peace,
Who seek and encourage reconciliation, and non-violent resolutions to conflict,
Those bold prophets who raise their voices to declare that there can be another way
And those who, in their lives, model the radical forgiveness that Christ himself taught and demonstrated

Loving God, bring healing to communities;
Forgiveness where there is hurt, compassion where there is hatred, love where there is fear

Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.  

     Amen.