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, source of our being.
Yet even as we are bold to come before you with our prayers of petition for peace, we are mindful of our shortcomings. And so…first things first. You are slow to anger and quick to forgive but let us not take advantage of your gracefulness and mercy, rather let us freely confess our sins.
We have failed to do those things which you would have us do, and we have done things that you would not have us do. Dearest Friend, give us a moment as we collect our thoughts and offer up to you our sins in this moment of silence.
Hear our prayer.
Loving Spirit, you call us into fellowship with you and with one another. We lift up to you our broken relationships, broken relationships amongst family, amongst friends, amongst acquaintances with whom we harbour a hard heart. Be patient with us as we pause, and focus on specific broken relationships where our hearts need softening in order to mend the relationship and softened that our hearts might be healed in us from our sin. Again, in this silence we offer up to you our trespasses and transgressions.
Hear our prayer.
Loving Spirit, we trust that you are loving and generous with mercy. We bask in your light, assured of your forgiveness and love.
With that done, we pray for peace. We pray for peace amongst the nations. Help us to cease our warring madness. May we no longer send our young men and young women to foreign lands to fight for what, we are not sure. We are told, or we tell ourselves, that it is for national security. How feeble our faith must be in you if in our need for security we must send our youth armed, off to other lands to kill other people that we might be secure.
Our lives are more than just a hand-full of years, three score years and ten. Strengthen our resolve to put our trust in you. We pray for peace in conflicted countries around the world. We pray for [Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland and North Korea] to name but a few. May we work for health, wealth and justice for the peoples of these lands and for justice for all the peoples of the world, for all your children, our sisters and brothers.
In the silence of this moment, hear our individual prayers for peace.
Hear our prayer.
Finally, we pray for peace in ourselves. We know people afflicted with physical conflict. Some of us, ourselves, suffer from the conflict of illness and aging. Perhaps the outcomes of these conflicts will not be what we desire. We realize that sometimes disability or even death follows illness and not our longed for healing and recovery. Help us to remember that nothing can separate us from your love, not death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers nor things present nor things to come, nor power, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from your love. Bear with us, as we wrap our minds around your constant, steadfast love which surrounds us no matter what our conflict.
Hear our prayer. Amen.
By Ana & Tod Gobledale, written for the Healing Service of the Order of St Luke, Melbourne, Australia, 6 March 2005