Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this sacred space where you are invited to “Become a people of the Temple—those who see violence but proclaim peace, who feel conflict yet extend the hand of reconciliation, who encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 161:2a
Today in our prayers we remember the country of Iran, also known as Persia, located in Western Asia. The earliest archaeological artifacts in Iran attest to a human presence there since the Lower Paleolithic era, 800,000–200,000 BC. Iran is the site of one of the world’s oldest civilizations, with kingdoms beginning in 3200–2800 BC.
Scripture Reading—Matthew 20:1-16 NRSV
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Prayer for Peace
Eva M. Erickson, Community of Christ Seminary student
(A prayer influenced by the writings of Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th century Benedictine abbess and Christian mystic.)
Make us know your ways, oh God,
you, most splendid light of creation, which is without beginning or end.
You are one of such great glory, it almost blinds us!
With thankfulness we realize that you bless our souls each day
for in each of us, you have placed heaven and earth and all of creation.
You have arranged the entire universe according to your will;
All of creation mirrors your divine love.
Open our minds and hearts to see you and all of heaven and earth
in ourselves and in everyone we meet.
Make us know your ways, oh Jesus,
most beautiful, shining fire, burning in our world and burning in our souls.
We open our hearts and minds to you today, asking for you
to fill us, to fill our communities, and our world with your peace which we so desperately need.
You brought Light into the darkness of our human lives.
Through you we are part of the Kingdom, this vision of eternal peace.
Make us know your ways, oh Holy Spirit,
you, life that gives life.
You are the cause of all movement.
You are the breath of all creatures.
You are the salve that purifies our souls and the ointment that heals our wounds.
You are the fire that warms our hearts and the light that guides our feet.
Let all the world praise you.
Move through creation with the peace only you can give.
Make us know your ways, oh Holy Trinity.
We come before you, hurt, wounded, restless, and lonely.
Grant us that we may see your light and experience the warmth of your burning love.
Heal our wounded souls and grant us your peace.
Make us know your ways, oh God.
Today’s hymn is “Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love” number 367 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 context for our Prayers of the People 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.
Will you join with me in this time of prayer and meditation acknowledging your soul’s yearning for God’s presence and peace? Silently join your heart with God’s.
O God of love, grant us your peace. We struggle with insecurities and fears, weighed down with issues that affect our sense of worth and wholeness. Grant us peace that calms the inner turmoil of our souls and affirms that we are beloved.
O God of life, grant us your peace. We strive for relationships that are fair, equitable and filled with compassion, yet we often find ourselves enslaved in conflicts with others, even those we love. Grant us the strength to listen with our hearts first that we may grow in deeper connection with those whom we call friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family.
O God of hope, grant us your peace. We have grown weary of the sounds of war, violence, oppression and diminishment of men, women and children, yet we fail to heed your urgent invitation to act for justice. Grant us the courage to extend our hands in acts of mercy, service, and peacemaking. We remember all nations, including Iran, the country we pray for today.
O God of all creation, grant us your peace. We understand that we are made of the same substance as all living things, yet fail to grasp your vision of the sacredness of creation. Make us more aware and weave us into oneness. Grant us a glimpse of your love for creation in all its forms and the compassion to act in ways that respect and honor the genius of your universe.
O God of peace, we offer ourselves as vessels of your grace and peace, so that from where we stand, waves of your loving presence will emanate to bless your world. In and through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Live simply. Value others.
Honor the Earth. Walk in sacred footsteps.
Go in peace.
Susan Naylor, snaylor@CofChrist.org, 816-529-3718 (call or text)