Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this time of prayer. The "Temple [that] calls the entire church to become a sanctuary of Christ's peace, where people from all nations, ethnicities, and life circumstances can be gathered into a spiritual home without dividing walls."
—Doctrine and Covenants 163:8c
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Senegal, located on Africa's west coast with a French colonial heritage and many natural attractions. Archaeological findings throughout the area indicate that Senegal was inhabited in prehistoric times and has been continuously occupied by various ethnic groups. Various kingdoms were created in Senegal around the 7th century.
Scripture Reading—Ephesians 4:29, 31-32—5:1-2
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Prayer for Peace
Cheryll Shaft Peterman
Most Gracious Creator,
We come this day seeking wisdom and the peace that only you can give. We have been overwhelmed by images that portray anything but peace—thousands of faraway men, women, and children trudging on dusty roads and sleeping in train stations; people like us, weary beyond anything we have known, crying from hunger, frustration, and grief. All because life in their country of origin has become intolerable. While our children go to soccer practice and piano lessons their children have nowhere to call home. Their parents have no employment and no house or apartment to call their own. The nations where they seek to settle also fear for jobs lost to newcomers, competition for living space, and a change in what it means to be Hungarian, or German, or Austrian. The problem is not theirs alone, for we hear the same concerns on this side of the globe. And so often it is the voice of fear and misgiving.
Our politicians rant and compete for our favor, casting fearful images of how dreadful life will be if we fail to choose their leadership. We shake our heads and wonder how it came to be this way. Yet, in some ways, it has always been this way. Every age and generation has had its fears, its complex decisions to make, its stubborn failure to work together. And we don't know where to turn.
Yet we do. You have promised us a peace that passes all understanding when we seek your wisdom and truly listen to the still, small voice within us. We know we cannot turn a blind eye to the world's agonies. We must take a stand wherever we can for justice, for compassion, and plant seeds of hope and grow deeds of blessing in our own communities.
Remove the fear from our hearts and teach us to listen to your voice as we form opinions, try to judge justly, and act rightly. Wherever we live, may we see you in others. Show us how to share in positive ways and not spread negativity needlessly.
We ask for your blessing of peace and holy perception within us that we may embrace a world in need wherever we can. In our worship this day, lift us close to you. In Jesus name. Amen.
Today's hymn is "Holy Spirit, Come with Power" number 46 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 begin with individuals and groups, then move out from this Temple of peace to include the human family and, ultimately, the planet.
Jesus Christ, the light of the world, invites you into his presence and his peace. Please allow yourself to breathe deeply and envision yourself in his all-embracing light as we share the prayers of the people.
Radiant God, we come into your presence grateful for the light you have brought into the world; breathe your spirit into our very beings. May your love shine from within us as evidence that you continue to bless your creation with possibility and peace.
Illuminating One, as we experience that light within us, help us radiate your love and light to those around us. May our friends, families, coworkers, and neighbors become aware of your light that emanates from within them as well, redeeming brokenness and creating peace.
Light of the world, extend ever-increasing brightness within this circle of self and friends to those who live all around the world. We remember all nations, including Senegal, the country we pray for today. In places of darkness and hopelessness, may rays of your saving light break through and provide the way to hope and peace.
Holy One, who created darkness and light, bless all your creation with the energy your light produces. Continue to sustain all forms of life—seen and unseen, for the welfare of your beloved creation. May the entire Earth be at peace.
May the One who spoke light into darkness and substance out of the void hear our prayers. May the circle of light in which we live be enlarged to encompass all that was, and is, and is to be. Amen.
As we depart in joy,
Be part of transformations toward peace, and
Generate hope for the world.
Go in peace.