Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this sacred space where you are invited to “Become a people of the Temple—those who see violence but proclaim peace, who feel conflict yet extend the hand of reconciliation, who encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 161:2a
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Tunisia, a nation in the northernmost part of Africa. It is considered to be the only full democracy in the Arab world. Its inhabitants began farming the area from the Nile Valley to the Fertile Crescent region about 5,000 BC.
Scripture Reading—Doctrine and Covenants 151:9
You who are my disciples must be found continuing in the forefront of those organizations and movement which are recognizing the worth of persons and are committed to bringing the ministry of my Son to bear on their lives.
Prayer for Peace
Gracious God, a deep and ever-present yearning for peace lives in the heart of each of your children. It is a hunger that cries out to be satisfied. Yet, often our individual and corporate lives erupt in violence toward each other or isolation from each other. We make choices that greatly complicate the achievement of peacefulness and calm. We seek serenity and an experience of freedom which blesses those who find and maintain such a quality lifestyle.
Voices all about us clamoring for our attention. They promise a life of happiness and fulfillment in the pursuit and acquisition of wealth and the accumulation of material things. The power of position and prestige promises feelings of self-worth and control. We have seen and most have experienced the devastation and suddenness of loss that may occur in a moment when natural disasters occur, businesses fail, and relationships do not live up to expectations.
At such times when we are stripped bare of the materialistic trappings which have defined life’s meaning for us. We are brought to our knees in recognition that of ourselves we are nothing and that truly in you we find our comfort and our salvation. We are grateful, O God, for your patient, loving care and the invitation of your Spirit to see the divine in one another which enables us to reach out in compassion to share life’s blessings and to work for a world of kindness and justice. We find unspeakable joy in supporting one in great need. IT IS POSSIBLE to experience abundance in the midst of shortage and to offer songs and prayers of praise and thankfulness when trouble surrounds our lives.
Help us to remember, as the psalmist David reminds us, that “we are his people and the sheep of his pasture…the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting.” May such assurance strengthen us in our peace work, we pray in the name of the One who calls us to be peacemakers. Amen.
Today’s hymn is 140 in Community of Christ Sings, “Sacred the Body.” Sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text as it is sung. Hymn number 140.
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 Tunisia, 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.