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, a nation 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 Timothy 2:1-2 NRSV
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.
Prayer for Peace
Creator, God of Seeing, God of love, God of peace,
Renew that spark of love you planted within us Lord; the ember which will help us seek wholeness for our neighbors and our world, rather than the fragmentation we have built upon our differences.
Remind us, God of love, of our common traits—of those characteristics we all share—of those qualities which form our common humanity. When we are faced with an evil so terrible that we cannot understand it, remind us that we were not created out of your hatred, but as an act of your love. Remind us God that just as we have evolved as humans, so too has our ability to hate. But remind us from time to time, that just as hatred has grown so too can love grow.
God, it is so hard at times, to fan that spark of compassion for others that you planted within us. This is especially true, when we witness extreme violence. We are so quick to build walls of self-preservation around us and to seek vengeance, rather than justice—so very quick. But God, what I ask today is that you comfort those who have suffered and continue to suffer. I ask that you help us to pause and reflect, rather than to lash out at innocents as we seek to punish the guilty. Help us to remove the clutter in our lives and to listen for your voice, as we wrestle with these unsettling violence, God. Call to our minds, Creator, that you designed us to be in relationships of “I” and “thou”; your relationship with all beings is never merely “I” and “it.” To you, we are all part of your sacred creation.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the one whom we call the Prince of Peace.
Today’s hymn is “Jesu, Tawa Pano” number 71 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 will begin with individuals and groups, then move out from this Temple of peace to include the human family and the planet.
You are invited to join in prayer and meditation as you close your eyes and imagine yourself held in God’s loving hands. Be aware of your current needs, known to you and the one who calls you by your name.
God of my life, may I receive your love, peace, and healing.
Imagine someone who is close to you being held in God’s loving hands. Perhaps this person is a good friend or someone with whom you are struggling.
God of relationships, may this person receive your love, peace, and healing.
Envision all the people of the world, every nation and tribe, every town and village. Imagine those that live in oneness, as well as those ravaged by war and violence.
God of all peoples, may these communities receive your love, peace, and healing. We remember all nations, including Zimbabwe, the country we pray for today.
Behold all that God has created. See the beauty of the Earth. Recognize the brokenness and destruction we have caused. Imagine all the beauty and the damage held in God’s loving hands.
God of creation, may this planet receive your love, peace, and healing.
May this spirit of peace and compassion for ourselves, others, all people, and the Earth remain alive in us this day. Amen.
Take the peace you have found today in this sacred space with you into the world—renewed and inspired to act.
Go in peace.