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 Sri Lanka (srɪ ˈlɑŋkə), a nation south of India in the Indian Ocean. This island nation was formerly known as Ceylon.
Scripture Reading—Matthew 5:3-11 NRSV
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Prayer for Peace
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 for 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.
Help us, O God, to 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 Serve the Prince of Peace” number 348 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 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 Sri Lanka, 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.