Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this Temple which is “dedicated to the pursuit of peace. …[and which] shall be for reconciliation and for healing of the spirit.” “You are called to create pathways in the world for peace in Christ.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 156:5a; 163:3a
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Niger (nee+ZHAIR), a nation in Western Africa and named after the Niger River. This arid country is home to Neolithic rock art, oasis towns, ancient trade route towns and a warm and generous people. Unfortunately, due to instable and insecure conditions, Niger is largely off limit to visitors.
Scripture Reading—Micah 5:2-5a NRSV
But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has brought forth;
then the rest of his kindred shall return
to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth;
and he shall be the one of peace.
Prayer for Peace
Lord God of the eternities, out of your timeless eternity come into our life. Come into our world. Come into our time. We try not to dictate how you will come. Just come. Please. Come.
We are so shallow in our understanding of you and your purposes. We seem to do so little to try to understand you. We seem to be content with so little. In our shallow littleness we have become infected with complacency. We just don’t care anymore.
In our shallowness, in our littleness, in our smallness, in our complacency we dare to ask you to come into our world. Forgive us for not seeing you already there. Forgive us.
We don’t know what it is we’re asking for, except we want depth, we want to be committed; we want you in our lives. We have only vague intimation of what depth and commitment mean. Will you, please, will you come, forgive, redirect?
Help us to be open, sensitive, willing to be changed. Help us to know this blessed peace. Amen.
Today’s hymn is “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” number 434 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 begin with individuals and groups, then move out from this Temple of peace to include the human family and, ultimately, the planet.
Jesus Christ, the light of the world, invites you into his presence and his peace. Please allow yourself to breathe deeply and envision yourself in his all-embracing light as we share the prayers of the people.
Radiant God, we come into your presence grateful for the light you have brought into the world; breathe your spirit into our very beings. May your love shine from within us as evidence that you continue to bless your creation with possibility and peace.
Illuminating One, as we experience that light within us, help us radiate your love and light to those around us. May our friends, families, coworkers, and neighbors become aware of your light that emanates from within them as well, redeeming brokenness and creating peace.
Light of the world, extend ever-increasing brightness within this circle of self and friends to those who live all around the world. We remember all nations, including Niger, the country we pray for today. In places of darkness and hopelessness, may rays of your saving light break through and provide the way to hope and peace.
Holy One, who created darkness and light, bless all your creation with the energy your light produces. Continue to sustain all forms of life—seen and unseen, for the welfare of your beloved creation. May the entire Earth be at peace.
May the One who spoke light into darkness and substance out of the void hear our prayers. May the circle of light in which we live be enlarged to encompass all that was, and is, and is to be. Amen.
As we depart in joy,
Be part of transformations toward peace, and
Generate hope for the world.
Go in peace.