General Prayers

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General Prayers for Peace 

An International Prayer for Peace

A prayer from Bill Watkins to the Secretary of the Navy

God,

May we make no enemies, 
fabricate no enemies, and 
turn any prospective or suspected 
“enemies” into the firm fold 
of our loving friendship.

May our nation listen to 
the United Nations and end 
its rogue attitude of 
“exceptionalism.”

In its place, help us to 
accept a role in this world 
as servant and friend, not 
policeman and judge.

Amen

 

(Join people of all faiths around the world who are praying this prayer at noon each day)

Lead me from death to life,

from falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope,
from fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.
Peace, peace, peace.

 (Adapted from the Upanishads by Satish Kumar)

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Prayer of  St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; 

where there is hatred, let me sow love; 

where there is injury, pardon; 

where there is doubt, faith; 

where there is despair, hope; 

where there is darkness, light; 

and where there is sadness, joy.

 

O Divine Master, 

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; 

to be understood, as to understand; 

to be loved, as to love; 

for it is in giving that we receive, 

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen. 

- St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)

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An Inter-Faith Prayer for Peace

O God, you are the source of life and peace.

Praised be your name forever.
We know it is you who turn our minds to thoughts of peace.
Hear our prayer in this time of crisis.
Your power changes hearts.

Muslims, Christians and Jews remember, and profoundly affirm,
that they are followers of the one God,
Children of Abraham, brothers and sisters;
enemies begin to speak to one another;
those who were estranged join hands in friendship;
nations seek the way of peace together.

Strengthen our resolve to give witness to these
truths by the way we live.
Give to us:
Understanding that puts an end to strife;
Mercy that quenches hatred, and
Forgiveness that overcomes vengeance.
Empower all people to live in your law of love
Amen.

- Source: Pax Christi

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A Prayer for Universal and Personal Peace

O God, who would fold both heaven and earth in a single peace:

Let the design of your great love
lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows:
and give peace to your Church,
peace among nations,
peace in our dwellings,
and peace in our hearts:
through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

- Source: Unknown

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Grant Us Your Salvation

Show us your mercy, O Lord;

And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.

- Book of Common Prayer 1979

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Grant Us Your Peace

O Lord, my God,

grant us your peace; already, indeed, you have made us rich in all things!
Give us that peace of being at rest,
that sabbath peace,
the peace which knows no end.

- St. Augustine

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Prayer for Greater Justice and Peace

Let us pray for peace with a greater justness in ours and every land: God of justness and mercy, we pray for an end to terrorism in any form. We pray for wisdom that will bring greater peace in our world. We pray for understanding and compassion that will safeguard the innocent and feed and find home for all refugees and all who suffer. We pray for companionship and strength for all who mourn. We pray in Jesus' love. Amen.

(The Bishop of Los Angeles, October 7, 2001)

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Prayer for the Spirit of Righteousness and Peace

Eternal Lord, whose kingdom knows only the sword of righteousness and justice, and where your only power is love, send forth your spirit so that all the peoples of the earth will join together as children of one Father, for yours alone is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

- Source: Unknown

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A Prayer ... That Peace May Prevail

In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, 
Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds, 
The Mercy-giving, the Merciful ... 
O Lord, Lead us from hate to love and from violence to peace, 
from fear to trust and from despair to hope. 
Enable us to eliminate poverty, prejudice and oppression so that peace may prevail 
with righteousness and justice ... Amen

Dawud Ahmad Assad 
Council of Mosques, USA, New York, NY

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A Peace Prayer 
(author unknown)

May we be blessed with 
discomfort at easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships 
so that we will live deep in our hearts.

May we be blessed with 
anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people and the earth, 
so that we will work for justice, equity and peace.

May we be blessed with 
tears to shed for those who suffer, so we will reach out our hands to comfort them 
and change their pain to joy.

And may we be blessed with 
the foolishness to think that we can make a difference in this world, 
so that we will do the things which others say cannot be done.

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A Prayer for Peace

Our Lord and Savior who art in heaven, 
Hallowed be your name. Only for you and your righteous will we die. 
May your kingdom of peace and justice come to this war-torn world, 
Your will be done as we seek right relationships with our enemies, 
On earth as it is in heaven. 
Give all in the world the daily bread you have prepared for them to eat. Teach us to not take more than our share. 
Forgive us our trespasses against people we have never met as we are willing to not seek revenge against those we have. And forgive us, for we knew not what we did five years ago. 
Lead us not into the temptation of silence, 
But deliver us from the evil of self-righteousness. 
Give us courage to seek your truth and persistence in telling it to our congregations, our neighbors and 
our government. GIve peace of mind and body to soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder and mangled limbs. 
Let no military person harm or be harmed. Comfort families. 
For we give allegiance only to your kindgom, bow our knee only to your glory. 
For even and ever. Amen.

Susan Mark Landis, March 8, 2007, written to commemorate for the 4th Anniversary of the start of the Iraq War

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Prayer for Leadership

Give us, O God,
leaders whose hearts are large enough
to match the breadth of our own souls
and give us souls strong enough
to follow leaders of vision and wisdom.

In seeking a leader, let us seek
more than develpment for ourselves--
     though develpment we hope for--
more than security for our own land--
     though security we need--
more than satisfaction for our wants--
     though many things we desire.

Give us the hearts to choose the leader
who will work with other leaders
to bring safety
to the whole world.

Give us leaders
who lead this nation to virtue
without seeking to impose our kind of virtue
on the virtue of others.

Give us a government
that provides for the advancement
of this country
without taking resources from others
to achieve it.

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PRY ME OFF DEAD CENTER

O persistent God,
     Deliver me from assuming your mercy is gentle.
Pressure me that I may grow more human,
     Not through the lessening of my struggles,
     But through an expansion of them
     That will undamn me
     And unbury my gifts.
Deepen my hurt
     Until I learn to share it
     And myself
     Openly,
     And my needs honestly.
Sharpen my fears
     Until I name them
     And release the power I have locked in them
     And they in me.
Accentuate my confusion
     Until I shed those grandiose expectations
     That divert me from the small, glad gifts
     Of the now and the here and the me.
Expose my shame where it shivers,
     Crouched behind the curtains of propriety,
     Until I can laugh at least
     Through my common frailties and failures,
     Laugh my way toward becoming whole.
Deliver me
     From just going through the motions
     And wasting everything I have
     Which is today,
          A chance,
               A choice,
                    My creation,
                        Your call.
O persistent God,
Let how much it all matters
Pry me off dead center
So if I am moved inside
          To tears
               Or sighs
                    Or screams
                         Or smiles
                             Or dreams,
They will be real
And I will be in touch with who I am
And who you are
And who my sisters and brothers are.

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Intercessions

Almighty and merciful God, Father of all, Creator and Ruler of the Universe, Lord of History, whose designs are inscrutable, whose glory is without blemish, whose compassion in inexhaustible, in your will is our peace.

     Teach us to be long-suffering in anguish and insecurity.
     Teach us to wait and trust.
     Grant light, grant strength and patience to all who work for peace,
     To this Congress, our President, our mllitary forces, and our adversaries.
     Grant us to see your face in the lightning of this cosmic storm,

O God of holiness,
Grant us to seek peace where it is truly found!
In your will, O God, is our peace!

Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours

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PRAYER FOR THE MORNING HEADLINES

By Daniel Berrigan

MERCIFULLY GRANT PEACE IN OUR DAYS. THROUGH YOUR HELP MAY WE BE FREED FROM PRESENT DISTRESS. HAVE MERCY ON WOMEN AND CHILDREN, HOMELESS IN FOUL WEATHER, RANTING LIKE BEES AMONG GUTTED BARNS AND STILES. HAVE MERCY ON THOSE (LIKE US) CLINGING ONE TO ANOTHER UNDER FIRE. HAVE MERCY ON THE DEAD, BEFOULED, TRODDEN LIKE SNOW IN HEDGES AND THICKETS. HAVE MERCY, DEAD MAN, WHOSE GRANDIOSE GENTLE HOPE DIED ON THE WING, WHOSE BODY STOOD LIKE A TREE BETWEEN STRIKE AND FALL, STOOD LIKE A CRIPPLE ON HIS WOODEN CRUTCH. WE CRY: HALT! WE CRY: PASSWORD! DISHONORED HEART, REMEMBER AND REMIND, THE OPEN SESAME: FROM THERE TO HERE, FROM INNOCENCE TO US: HIROSHIMA DRESDEN GUERNICA SELMA SHARPEVILLE COVENTRY DACHAU VIETNAM AFGHANISTAN IRAQ. INTO OUR HISTORY, PASS! SEED HOPE. FLOWER PEACE.

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PRAYER OF MYSTERY AND HOPE

from the Book of Worship, United Church of Christ

Be with us, God, through all the unknown days lying before us:

days when the black of night settles early in the west,
days when the strong white of winter comes from the north,
days when we look for the red of sunrise in the east,
days when the yellow noonday lingers in the south.

Touch us that we may trust you and be strong,
So that we grow in union with all our sisters and brothers,
So that we may see more deeply into ourselves.

We seek a vision from you,
A vision of your mystery,
A vision of ourselves and the love you have for us.
May we answer you honestly and truly, generously and bravely.

Help us understand that for those who are faithful to you
Life is not ended but only changed.
Help us join together with all you have created to say:

Great and powerful is our God.
God fills all heaven and earth with beauty.
We have deep hope because God has promised
everlasting life to God's faithful people. Amen.

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It helps, now and then, to step back

and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own. Amen.

Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero

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Prayer for Afganistan

God of peace, we pray for the country of Afghanistan where violence continues. We mourn the cost of war, the consequences of conflict, the lack of peace and stability. May people of faith work for a peace that is not just the absence of war but the presence of reconciled relationships. Amen.

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