Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this sacred space where we are called to, “above all else, strive to be faithful to Christ’s vision of the peaceable Kingdom of God on earth. Courageously challenge cultural, political, and religious trends that are contrary to the reconciling and restoring purposes of God. Pursue peace.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 163:3b
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Zimbabwe [ZAM-bee-uh], located in southern Africa. Victoria Falls, one of the world’s biggest and most spectacular waterfalls, is located in the country’s extreme northwest and is part of the Zambezi river.
Scripture Reading—1 John 3:16-18
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister[a] in need and yet refuses help?
Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
Prayer for Peace
Author: Bill Russell
God of love, of peace, and of justice:
We live in a violent world, Lord. Wars between nations and tribes exist all over the world and it must trouble you deeply. We pray for a cessation of hostilities, that differences might be settled through negotiations, through getting to know and empathize with “the other”—who we all too often demonize.
We have treated as less than human people of other religions, other races, other ethnic groups, other gender identification, other tribes. Women are still treated as property in much of the world, and far too often, still, in this country.
We are inspired by the model of Jesus, who saw all persons as persons of worth, and by Joseph Smith, who echoed this message.
May we remember—from the teachings of Jesus, and of Gandhi, and of Dr. King, and of Nelson Mandela—that returning hatred for hatred, violence for violence—only escalates the existence of hatred and violence in the world. Let us respond to hate with love, to violence with non-violence. Help us work to create the peaceable kingdom, Lord.
We ask this in the name of the humble carpenter from Nazareth, whose life and courageous facing of death helped us see what kind of people You would have us be.
Today’s hymn is “I Wish God's Love to Be with You” number 663 in Community of Christ Sings. Sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text.
Prayers of the People
As we enter a time of guided prayer, meditation, and musical reflection, you are invited to offer silent prayers or meditate during the moments of quiet. The Prayers of the People this day begin with ourselves and then, enlarging life’s circle, move outward to include those we know and love, to strangers and enemies, to the entire world, and to all of creation.
Will you pause for the next few moments in the quiet of this sanctuary, away from the worries of the world, to silently add your own thoughts and prayers to the prayers of the people?
God of all time and space, I stand waiting for your peace to enter my broken and chaotic soul, just as you wait for me to pause long enough to breathe and simply be. May your peace fill the space that I now create with my breath and my being. Hear my often-impatient cry, “Be with me, O Prince of Peace, and make me whole.”
Source of our being, we stand waiting for your peace to enter our broken and chaotic relationships, just as you wait for us to pause long enough to invite you in. May your reconciling presence bring us to a point of apology and forgiveness, of offering and receiving, and unity. Hear our impatient cry, “Be with us, O Prince of Peace, and make us one.”
Lord of all Earth’s people, the world stands waiting for your peace to calm the warring nations, to stem the tide of violence we inflict against one another, just as you wait for us to stop the madness long enough to see one another as family. We remember all nations, including Zimbabwe, the country we pray for today. May your profound compassion for your children flow within us. Enable us to surrender our hatred and fear and be filled instead with your loving kindness and mercy. Hear our often-impatient cry, “Be with our human family, O Prince of Peace, and make us one.”
Creator of all, your creation stands waiting for your healing touch to restore all living things to oneness and wholeness, just as you wait for us to revere what you have given us as a sacred gift. May your generous offering of water, earth, air, and all that has life remind us of our physical and spiritual connection with everything that was, is, and will be. Help us honor our call as stewards of the Earth. Hear our impatient cry, “Be with our Earth, O Prince of Peace. Make all things one.”
We ask for this blessing of your peace in and through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Make every breath one of thanksgiving;
Make every deed a channel of justice;
Make every thought a peaceful one;
Go in peace.
Susan Naylor, DPP@CofChrist.org