Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this sacred space that “stand(s) as a towering symbol of a people who knew injustice and strife on the frontier and who now seek the peace of Jesus Christ throughout the world.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 161:2b
Today in our prayers, we remember the people of Niger [NAHY-jer], located in Western Africa and named after the Niger River. This arid country is home to neolithic rock art, oasis towns, ancient trade route towns, and warm and generous people. Unfortunately, due to unstable and insecure conditions, Niger is essentially off-limits to visitors.
Scripture Reading—Doctrine and Covenants 163:10a-b
Collectively and individually, you are loved with an everlasting love that delights in each faithful step taken. God yearns to draw you close so that wounds may be healed, emptiness filled, and hope strengthened. Do not turn away in pride, fear, or guilt from the One who seeks only the best for you and your loved ones. Come before your Eternal Creator with open minds and hearts and discover the blessings of the gospel anew. Be vulnerable to divine grace.
Prayer for Peace
Author: Donald Lents
Our Father, it is in the spirit of expectation and anticipation that we face this day and each new day. It is with gratitude that, daily, it is our privilege to express thanksgiving for your graciousness, love, and concern. We are aware you have made all people in your likeness and that you love all whom you have made. May we then not separate ourselves by erecting borders of race, color, or status among ourselves.
Continue to teach us to regard everyone as our brothers and sisters and then by our loving service, on their behalf, show our unreserved love to you.
We pray you will continue to live in us with new power. Live, we pray, in our relationships with others to make meaning and love prevail for us and others; live in our communities and the world, that your goodness may inspire us to bring health and bread to all; live in the nations that your peace may reign and war be no more.
O God, help us strive for peace and not lose heart even when the world seems determined to destroy itself in war and selfishness. Transform the hearts of men and women everywhere that we place peace above selfish interests and work untiringly to solve conflict.
Be with those who would be at peace. Stay close to them that they may even be close to you. Guide us through your Holy Spirit that we may know how and where to give our energies, gifts, time, and talents for your Kingdom’s good and for the blessing of peace in our world.
We pray in the name of your Son. Amen.
Today’s hymn is “We Are One in the Spirit” number 359 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 the planet.
Within all aspects of our lives and our world exist situations and conditions that need the healing touch of the Holy. Will you join with me to listen to the voice that speaks peace to each of us from beyond the farthest hills, from the infinite heavens above, and the vast seas below?
Listen to the voice that invites you to surrender your fears and frustrations, anger, and anxieties, and to await with an open heart the peace that only Christ can bring. Allow the one who seeks only the best for you to offer the comfort you seek.
Listen to the voice that whispers the invitation to reconciliation with those whose lives, words, decisions, or actions have wounded you. May you find space in your heart for healing to occur in your relationships with brothers and sisters, as well as your enemies.
Listen to the voice that calls all into unity and oneness. We remember all nations, including Niger, the country we pray for today. May we be attuned to hear the cries for mercy, forgiveness and generosity. Listen to the one who reminds us that in the welfare of another resides our own well-being.
Listen to the voice that echoes across the eons of time and yet speaks anew in this moment. The Earth shudders in distress because creation’s natural and living systems are becoming exhausted from carrying the burden of our greed and conflicts. Listen to creation which struggles to provide life to the seas, the hills, and the heavens above.
May the one who spoke calm to the storm and stilled the waves with a word, bring peace to us and through us. May we be among those whose lives whisper, shout, and proclaim peace to those far and near for the sake of God’s shalom. Amen.
Be witnesses of hope,
Shed tears for injustice, and
Make a difference in the world.
Go in peace.
Susan Naylor, DPP@CofChrist.org