Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this Temple which is “dedicated to the pursuit of peace. …[and which] shall be for reconciliation and for healing of the spirit.” “You are called to create pathways in the world for peace in Christ.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 156:5a; 163:3a
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Nigeria, a nation on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. This country is called the Giant of Africa because of its large population and economy. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and seventh most-populous country in the world.
Scripture Reading—Luke 1:76-79 NRSV
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Prayer for Peace
Eternal God, we thank you for your unconditional love that brings such hope and joy. We come this day to this special place to pray for peace.
Violence and wars tear us apart. Violence and wars where the influence of leaders often causes good people to kill good people. Each fighting for a cause that often becomes obscure and the only certainty is homelessness, poverty, hopelessness and unbelievable suffering, especially for the children and the aged.
We know you never meant us to live like that Lord. May your spirit guide us to mend our world and to bring peace according to your truth resident within us. May we ever work for justice and may our longing for peace be passionate.
O God, we seek peace in our own place, for we realize to find peace anywhere we must make peace within ourselves; only then can we make peace in the world. May we repent, not merely for the hateful words and actions, but for the unexplainable silence.
Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead us from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our hearts, our world, and our universe. Peace. Peace. Peace. Amen.
Today’s hymn is 157 in Community of Christ Sings, “Wa Wa Wa Emimimo.” Sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text as it is sung. Hymn number 157.
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 then, enlarging life’s circle, move outward to include those we know and love, to strangers and enemies, to the entire world, and to all of creation.
Will you pause for the next few moments in the quiet of this sanctuary, away from the worries of the world, to silently add your own thoughts and prayers to the prayers of the people?
God of all time and space, I stand waiting for your peace to enter my broken and chaotic soul, just as you wait for me to pause long enough to breathe and simply be. May your peace fill the space that I now create with my breath and my being. Hear my often-impatient cry, “Be with me, O Prince of Peace, and make me whole.”
Source of our being, we stand waiting for your peace to enter our broken and chaotic relationships, just as you wait for us to pause long enough to invite you in. May your reconciling presence bring us to a point of apology and forgiveness, of offering and receiving, and unity. Hear our impatient cry, “Be with us, O Prince of Peace, and make us one.”
Lord of all Earth’s people, the world stands waiting for your peace to calm the warring nations, to stem the tide of violence we inflict against one another, just as you wait for us to stop the madness long enough to see one another as family. We remember all nations, including Nigeria, the country we pray for today. May your profound compassion for your children flow within us. Enable us to surrender our hatred and fear and be filled instead with your loving kindness and mercy. Hear our often-impatient cry, “Be with our human family, O Prince of Peace, and make us one.”
Creator of all, your creation stands waiting for your healing touch to restore all living things to oneness and wholeness, just as you wait for us to revere what you have given us as a sacred gift. May your generous offering of water, earth, air, and all that has life remind us of our physical and spiritual connection with everything that was, is, and will be. Help us honor our call as stewards of the Earth. Hear our impatient cry, “Be with our Earth, O Prince of Peace. Make all things one.”
We ask for this blessing of your peace in and through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Make every breath one of thanksgiving;
Make every deed a channel of justice;
Make every thought a peaceful one;
Go in peace.