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 Sudan, a nation in Northern Africa. Sudan is the third-largest country in Africa. Also known as North Sudan, this country was home to ancient civilizations. Most of these flourished along the Nile, which divides the country into eastern and western halves.
Scripture Reading—Psalm 116:1-2, 5 NRSV
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.
Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.
Prayer for Peace
God, we are thankful for the quiet tranquility of this moment wherein we have the privilege of listening to you through the avenue of prayer.
We pray for peace like a river to fill our souls. At this moment we listen for the still, small voice speaking from deep within.
We express our gratitude for the many expressions of peace we have experienced: after we have worked through and solved a problem, resolved an inner contradiction; or when we have reconciled with a friend. This kind of peace in our personal world is like the return of sunshine following a thunderstorm.
With gratitude we reflect and express thanks for the peace that is ours when we look at a sleeping baby (soft, vulnerable, helpless) and yet filled with such promise and possibilities of life. The simple trust of a baby renews our assurance that there is hope and you desire your creatures to live and enjoy that confidence.
In this hour and in other similar experiences, as we lift our hearts to you, we recognize and feel your peace deep within us.
Father, may such experiences not be just as individuals, but may we move out in an unselfish endeavor to cause similar experiences to be a part of human kind in our peacemaking hopes, desires, and endeavors. We acknowledge that peace is not possible without you and your counsel and direction.
We pray this prayer and make this request in the name of the great peacemaker, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God in whose name we pray. Amen.
Today’s hymn is “Draw the Circle Wide,” 273 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.
Please join with me in today’s prayer and meditation; quiet your breathing and embrace God’s eternal grace as you become aware of your own responses to the guided prayers of the people.
God, you are the still point of the circle within which all creation is found. I yearn to connect with your spirit of peace and experience the companionship of your presence in this moment. May I abide in the center of creation’s circle with you?
Creator of horizons, help us draw the circle wider to include those I know and love, and even those I struggle to understand and accept. Fill this circle with the gifts of forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and peace. Give us the desire to include all whose paths cross ours into a place where acceptance is offered freely. Draw our circle wider.
Giver of dreams, let the peace we’ve dreamed of expand to embrace all your children. We remember all nations, including Sudan, the country we pray for today. Within this circle may we see the other as brother and sister, and act as mutual stewards of one another. You call us to live without borders that exclude. Help us to draw the circle wider still.
God of all living things, your world longs to be whole and in harmony. The dream of shalom includes caregiving for the water, earth, air and all that has life in one great family. You created us with interdependencies. Give us mutual respect and tender care for all. Let this be our song: Nothing on your created Earth stands alone, but lives in shalom with all other living things. Draw the circle wide open.
Architect of life and peace, may we be blessed by your vision of shalom this day. May our minds, hearts, and spirits be wide enough for all to find a home. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, God’s shalom. Amen.
May blessings of peace
Be realized today
Through the Source, Savior, and Spirit.
Go in peace.