Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this sacred space where you are invited to “Become a people of the Temple—those who see violence but proclaim peace, who feel conflict yet extend the hand of reconciliation, who encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 161:2a
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Gabon, a nation along the Atlantic coast of Central Africa that includes significant areas of protected parkland including the famed Loango National Park that shelters diverse wildlife, from gorillas and hippos to whales.
Scripture Reading—Matthew 5:13-20 NRSV
“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Prayer for Peace
Lover of Peace: At this moment throughout the world there are millions of people who do not recognize your presence. May your spirit resonate within their beings and cause them to come to a recognition of your love and your desire for all humanity to be united in the bond of your spirit.
Our Creator and sustainer, so often you are hidden from us, not because you have removed yourself, but because our spiritual eyes are closed. Grant us, we pray, the capacity to look within ourselves to find your presence.
May we be strengthened as we discover your presence in our neighbors and in the very fabric of the world you have created. In our selfishness we think of the world as “ours,” but in our better moments we know that we are only visitors, living briefly on this planet which preceded us and which will continue after we have gone. Help us to treat with respect all aspects of your creation. In doing this we become united with each other, with you, and with your world.
We pray for individuals, families, communities, and nations separated from the presence of peace. May each discover and release the essence of the living God and become whole. May they discover what it is to be holy and to view the entire universe as sacred.
May each of us respond in love to the stirrings of your empowering presence within us, that we may each be an ambassador of peace. Amen.
Today’s hymn is “Called by Christ to Love Each Other” number 577 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 the planet.
Allow yourself to come reverently into the presence of the Divine and please join with me in prayer. Transformative encounters await you here with the Eternal Creator and Reconciler.
Creator God, cleanse our hearts. Accept the confession of our flaws and failures, and make us whole. Transform us, O God, into the persons of peace and grace you created us to be.
Redeeming God, bring to our awareness those persons and relationships that are broken, and make us conscious of the need for reconciliation and forgiveness. Transform us for relationships of wholeness once again.
Saving God, allow us to feel your love and concern for your children in communities around the world, far and near. We remember all nations, including Gabon, the country we pray for today. May we weep with your tears and act with compassion to heal those who are suffering.
God of all creation, stir within us a deep connection with everything you have created; make us aware of the sacred nature of all that surrounds us and lead us into deep reverence that cultivates nurturing actions.
May these prayers of concern, compassion, and transformation for ourselves, others, all people, and the Earth lead us into a world shaped by your unconditional love, O God. Amen.
Cherish inner peace. Honor relationships.
Become communities of love, joy, hope, and peace.
Go in peace.