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 Austria, a nation in Central Europe characterized by mountain villages, baroque architecture, Imperial history, and rugged Alpine terrain.
Scripture Reading—Romans 14:17-19 NRSV
For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
Prayer for Peace
Gracious God, there is within the heart of each of us the desire to grow in understanding the meaning of life as it relates to our own personal opportunities and choices. Sometimes we see a clearly defined path with markers guiding us into activities and attitudes that are experiences of blessing. Other times we are confused by those things that are disturbing and disruptive, creating chaos and clouded vision as to what you would have us do and who we should become.
In such moments remind us that the adventurous journey of being truly Christian is a collage of dark and bright colors: times of calm and times of distress with a searching for answers to ease our pain and discomfort. We recall the gift of your Son and his life lived as an example of triumph over evil, of joy over sorrow, of hope over despair. We draw on the promise of Jesus when he said to his disciples “I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you.”
The assurance of the abiding presence of the Heavenly Comforter invites and encourages us to live peaceably with others in their personal struggles. We find peace in our own souls as we share the good news of the presence of the Holy Comforter. It is our source of strength and guidance on our journey toward a peaceable quality of life.
May this be our experience, we pray in the name of the One who grants this blessing. Amen.
Today’s hymn is 368 in Community of Christ Sings, “In Nature's Voice We Hear You, Lord.” Sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text as it is sung. Hymn number 368.
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.