United States of America—map
Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this service of peace. “Listen to the Voice that echoes across the eons of time and yet speaks anew in this moment. Listen to the Voice, for it cannot be stilled, and it calls you once again to the great and marvelous work of building the peaceable kingdom.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 162:1b
Today in our prayers we remember the people of the United States of America, located primarily in central North America between Canada and Mexico with the state of Alaska in the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii comprising an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. It is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries.
Scripture Reading—Isaiah 54:10 NRSV
For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Prayer for Peace
Our most gracious Lord,
We stand before you in love, appreciation and awe. You are the source of forgiveness, and all that brings people together. You lead us to compassion and teach us to love. May your spirit be ours.
Help us to recognize where we participate in injustice, where we structure systems that “shut out” or “push aside.” Forgive us our part and teach us new ways.
Plant your love deep in our hearts that it might be the seed of peace. May our deepest desires be expressed in actions that bring a rich harvest. May our actions bring people together and create homes of hope, communities of compassion, and a world of unity. Empower us with your spirit and join us together in your abiding grace, we pray. Amen.
Today’s hymn is 11 in Community of Christ Sings, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text as it is sung. Hymn number 11.
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 United States of America, 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.