Indigenous Peoples of Africa—map
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 indigenous peoples of Africa. Their ways of life, attachments or claims to particular lands, and social and political standing in relation to more dominant groups has led to substantial marginalization within modern African states. They continually strive to protect collective and human rights and maintain the continuity of their individual cultures.
Scripture Reading—Psalm 37:37 NRSV
Mark the blameless, and behold the upright,
for there is posterity for the peaceable.
Prayer for Peace
All Mighty God, creator of the universe, how great thou art. We pray for the sensitivity to recognize the prevailing presence of your Holy Spirit that a divine peace may rest upon us.
Out of the great diversity of religious thought and expression may our prayers be acceptable in support of a reconciling peace movement among the nations of this world.
There is a great need for all people to be aware of the value of human life. We pray for divine intervention to the point that all people will sense the precious nature of life. Amen.
Today’s hymn is “How Deep the Silence of the Soul” number 165 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 peoples, including the Indigenous Peoples of Africa, for whom we pray 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.