Sunday, September 21, 2014

International Day of Peace

Today is designated as the International Day of Peace and the following prayers are supplied by Act for Peace 
as a worship resource for churches to unite in prayer for peace in our troubled world...

Let us pray for peace in Gaza. 

God of peace,
have mercy on all your children in the Middle East:
Palestinians, Israelis,
Jews, Muslims, Christians,
both those who pursue violence
and those who long for peace
with justice and kindness for all.
Show your face to all who are suffering.
Share your tears with all who are mourning the dead.
Gather into the arms of your love all who have been killed.
Shake the certainty of those who give orders to kill.
Scatter the proud
who would rather die, and see others die,
than change their policies and practices.
Build up the courage of those who work for peace.
Person by person,
household by household,
nation by nation,
break the habits of hatred.
Lead everyone towards the new horizons of hope
which we have seen in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,
in whose name we pray. Amen.

Let us pray for peace in Syria.

God of peace,
turn back the tide of civil war in Syria.
Have pity on the six hundred thousand refugees
who have fled to Jordan and neighbouring countries.
Have pity on the countries that receive them,
and on international agencies working to protect and care for them.
Have pity on the devastated cities, towns and villages of Syria,
without safe shelter, food and medical care.
Have pity on the Christians of Syria,
displaced, threatened, almost forgotten
in the war between rival Muslim groups.
Speak peace to the Government and rebel forces.
Speak peace to the foreign soldiers
who want to come and fight in Syria.
Defuse the violence in angry hearts
with your gentle wisdom.
Dazzle those who live by the darkness of war
with the light of your truth and grace.
Bring an end to the shattering violence
and stir up the will for reconciliation and rebuilding.
We pray in the name of the one who came
to make peace by the blood of his cross,
our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let us pray for the persecuted Christians of Iraq.

God of peace,
we cry out to you for the lives of our brothers and sisters,
the Christians of Iraq.
When they are urged to convert to Islam,
strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ,
whose Body they are, in their suffering.
When religious taxes are demanded of them,
provide for them from the abundance of your mercy.
When they are forced to flee for their lives,surround them with your strong presence
so that nothing in life or death
can separate them from your love.
Fill with your Holy Spirit
the churches, monasteries and homes
where they have prayed for so many generations,
as a witness for peace in midst of violent destruction.
Raise up advocates for Iraqi Christians,
both in Iraq and in the wider community of nations.
Find a path towards reconciliation for all the people of Iraq,
so that people of peace from every religious tradition
can work together in trust and respect
for the future of their country.
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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