Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this service of peace. “The rise of Zion the beautiful, the peaceful reign of Christ, awaits your wholehearted response to the call to make and steadfastly hold to God’s covenant of peace in Jesus Christ.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 164:9b.
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Austria, located in Central Europe, and characterized by mountain villages, baroque architecture, Imperial history and rugged Alpine terrain.
Scripture Reading—John 14:27 NRSV
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
Prayer for Peace
Our Gracious and Loving Heavenly Parent,
We come to you today with concerns for our world. Your children are at odds with each other and it is our desire to be the peacemakers among them. We know that peace can only exist where there is justice. And where great poverty exists alongside wealth there is injustice. We know it is your desire that there is equality in your world—that the valleys will be exalted and the mountains made low as in Isaiah’s description of justice. We choose this justice.
Help us to act as if we are already part of your kingdom. Help us to side with the poor, the meek, the hungry, those in need—the ones Jesus promised his peace. We choose to respect all people as your children, listen to their stories, and respond to their needs. Let us remember that peace, like hate and anger, is a choice we make. We choose justice and peace.
But we are only human and we need your constant guidance to be the peacemakers you have called us to be. So, we claim the promise of the peace your Son brought—a peace the world cannot understand. When we carry this peace within us we see through the eyes of peace. We see your children as you see them. And we can love them in a different way, without judgment, without prejudice. We can love your way.
Today we ask that you aid us in our choice to be at peace with all your children. We choose peace rather than conflict. We choose to imitate your son.
In whose name we pray. Amen.
Today’s hymn is 323 in Community of Christ Sings, “Let Us Sing a Worldwide Anthem.” Sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text as it is sung. Hymn number 323.
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 move outward, in rippling waves to those we know and love, to strangers and enemies, to the entire world, to all of creation. We begin by noticing our breathing. We breathe in spirit and exhale those things that separate us from you, O God. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Please enter into the silence with me as we pray for peace remembering God’s promise to be with us and to work in us. Listen for the sound of the beloved’s voice.
God of creation, in the beginning your breath moved over the waters and brought calm and peace to a chaotic world. Breathe into my being this day; bring respite to my frenzied soul. Refresh my frayed sense of self and bring alive my hope for peace through words and actions inspired by your spirit. Breathe on me, breath of God.
God of reconciliation, 2,000 years ago you breathed and the word became flesh among us, teaching us the way of forgiveness, mercy, compassion and peace. Breathe into our relationships this day; allow us to enflesh the teachings of your Son within our family, friends, neighbors, and even our encounters with those we do not yet know. Breathe on us, breath of God.
God of sacred community, your Holy Spirit seeks to blow through the discord, disruption, and disease of the world to bring healing and wholeness once again. We remember all nations, including Austria, the country we pray for today. Remind us that many of your children lack the basic needs of life, including freedom, space to grow, and love to support them. Breathe on your people, breath of God.
God of all, your planet is gasping for breath, heaving under the pressure and weight of unbridled consumption of resources and greed-driven destruction of your world. The Earth groans from forces of chaos that destroy what we have been given as a gift for all creation. Awaken us to our responsibilities to heal and bring peace to our earthly home. Breathe once again over the waters, skies, land, and all that inhabit them, breath of God.
May the awareness of our own breathing connect us to you, O God, and to all that lives because you create it, love it, and call it good. In and through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Be blessed this day with frustration at injustice.
To motivate us to work for peace.
Go in peace.