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 Czech Republic, a nation in Central Europe bordered by Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Poland. On 1 January 1993, the former country of Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Scripture Reading—Isaiah 32:17-18 NRSV
The effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Prayer for Peace
Heavenly parent, we come to you each as a child of God, claimed by nothing other than our birth, for you are the creator of all life. But we pray specifically at this time for children, the little ones who you have charged us with to care for and love as they grow in the world to which they are born.
We pray for children of all backgrounds, that they may know how precious they are. Guard them against racism and those who would define them as anything less than the potential afforded each child of God. We pray for children of all gender, for boys and girls and children who see themselves first as human beings and second in need of a label that confuses them. For all children who struggle with the defining principles of gender that don’t fit, protect them as they grow into the person God intended them to be.
We pray for children who have too little and children who have too much because we know that both are burdens that bring tears to your eyes. Children who are hungry and vulnerable are a burden to all of us. Help us to use our resources to bring the necessities of life to our little ones who are most vulnerable. We pray that those with too much may be fill not with a longing for material worth, but rather be filled with the worth afforded by a loving God.
Lord, we pray for children at school. Some children may enter the school doors with joy and anticipation. However, other children enter those doors with fear, trepidation and anxiety. Be with all children who cross the threshold of education that they may be met with teachers who are prepared to meet their needs, teachers who are filled with compassion and teachers who understand that learning is difficult for many.
Heavenly parent, we pray for children whose primary focus is safety. Many children have lived their whole lives at war and wake to the threat of violence each day. We ask a blessing upon each child who faces realities that few of us can imagine. Bring them peace and hope where there is none to be found. Help us work harder to find your kingdom where there is no room for hate. Until then, we pray that you hold these babes close to your heart.
Lord, we pray for Indigenous children around the world and at home. Many of them bear the scars of generations who were uprooted, abused and displaced. Bring healing through the gift of children and those who understand the need to understand and provide opportunities for reconciliation. Let them be whole and true to the knowledge the Creator intended for them.
Heavenly parent, we may be the only glance of acceptance and love a child may see or know. Please heighten our awareness of that responsibility and give us courage to respond to new opportunities to help children know your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s hymn is “We Are People of God's Peace” number 306 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 Czech Republic, 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.