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 Switzerland, located in Western-Central Europe and bordered by Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. It is a mountainous country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps.
Scripture Reading—Matthew 5:38-48 NRSV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Prayer for Peace
Steven L. Shields
Compassionate and Eternal God,
We call upon you this day, as do many others of different faith communities, in a spirit of united prayer for peace. We marvel at the diversity of your human creations—the different expressions of faith that have emerged in various cultures around the planet—and we know that it is in such diversity that we find distinctive and unparalleled beauty.
We recall the experience of the children of Israel, who so many centuries ago found themselves in captivity by the waters of Babylon. There, as they sat down and wept, they wondered how they could worship their God in a strange land. And it was then that a most marvelous revelation came to light when they realized that you, O God, were more than just their national God, but that you were the One God to whom all humankind must give humble and joyous worship.
And so we join countless millions today who pray to you through the experiences of their own times and places—and their rich cultural and religious communities—and pray for peace in the world. Bring, O God, peace, to each of us and to all men, women, and children. Send among us teachers who will guide us just as Jesus and others like him have taught generations past.
We offer this prayer with humble anticipation. Amen.
Today’s hymn is 198 in Community of Christ Sings, “By the Babylonian Rivers.” Sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text as it is sung. Hymn number 198.
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 Switzerland, 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.