November 15, 2015
Prayers for the World and the People of God
God of grace and peace, this week we celebrated the 97th anniversary of the armistice of WWI, when the combatants agreed to end harmful deeds toward one another, even in the absence of a fully organized peace.
We pray now in the spirit of armistice for an end of:
- suicide bombings in Beirut and anywhere else,
- airplanes downed in Egypt or anywhere else,
- genocide in Burundi or anywhere else,
- lethal and traumatic travels for refugees from Syria, Central America or anywhere else. Adapted from “World in Prayer”.
Today we pray especially for the people of France, whose lives have been torn apart by the mass shootings and bombings in Paris, city of light. We pray for loved ones mourning the scores of people who were killed, and for the many, many who were injured in body or in spirit.
We pray for children in Paris and so many other places in our broken world, who don’t feel safe, even in the arms of their mothers and fathers. We pray for people going about their everyday lives, who look at one another with different eyes today as they wonder who is safe and who may not be.
With great and terrible difficulty we pray for those who planned these horrific attacks in Paris or Beirut or Egypt or Sandy Hook or Charleston. We pray for them, not because we want to, not because we feel lovingly toward them. We pray for them because we believe that your grace encompasses all, because we believe that you love them and that you call us to do the same. Grant us hearts to love even when it feels impossible. What would our world look like if we could?
We pray for our Muslim friends and neighbors, near at home or far away, who are identified by some with terrorism despite their responsible lives of faith and commitment to the common good. Give us courage to stand with them.
Make us agents of your peace, O God. May your light shine in all the dark corners of our world.
We give thanks for the end to the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, and pray that nations will work together to ensure that such an outbreak does not occur again.
As young women and men of color on college campuses around our nation and our world protest the racism that divides our people and diminishes our culture, help us to set aside any defensiveness that we might feel. Help us who do not feel the brunt of that racism to listen and really hear their stories. Help us to realize that to stand with those who have been left out or pushed aside requires many of us to give up some of the privilege that we have so long enjoyed.
We give thanks for the new possibility of democracy in Myanmar as the party of Aung San Suu Kii received an overwhelming majority of votes in last Sunday’s election.
Most of all, gracious God, we give you thanks for the self-giving love of Jesus Christ, who came into our troubled world to save us from our sin, to help us know you more fully and trust in your grace more completely. Grant us the assurance that your love is always present, always seeking the best for us, for our neighbors and for our world.
As those who have been forgiven, grant us the courage and discernment to join in your work for justice, for peace, and for the good of all your people. May we live our lives in response to the self-giving love of Christ, in whose name we pray.
Prayer offered by the Reverend Martha Morales, Associate Pastor, excerpted for web use by Rev. Dr. James Dwyer, webmaster. I