Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Prayer For Peace

Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace is a coalition of 24 national Church denominations and organizationsincluding Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions. It works to encourage U.S. government policies that actively promote a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ensuring security, human rights and religious freedom for all people of the region.

The following prayer by the Rev. Doris E. Warrell is for a meeting today of representatives of the European Union, The United Nations, Russia and the United States that is to focus on Middle East peace negotiations.

A Prayer for Peace on the Occasion of the April 11, 2012 Quartet Meeting

When your people quarrel and cannot find a way, you become the way.
     God, have mercy on us, your quarrelsome people.
When we fear that all we can do can never be enough, you become enough for us.
     Jesus, give your hope to us, your struggling people.
When we don’t do all that we could do, you call us to move forward.
     God, have mercy on us, your timid people.
When we dare to try once again to be the peacemakers you call us to be, you move among us.
     Jesus, give your strength to us, your tenacious people.

For people in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank who suffer the shock of past violence and fear future violence,
     Give safety and comfort to your hurting people.
For people who work for peace yet see the increase of sorrow and despair,
     Sustain their perseverance and vision.
For people who generate violence and injury,
     Show them the better way of Your justice, mercy and faithfulness.
For people who sit at tables and talk of things with which others must live,
     Fill their hearts with love of neighbor and compassion for strangers.

We pray for national and international leaders meeting this day in Washington, D.C.:
     Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy,
     Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State,
     General Ban Ki-moon, General-Secretary of the United Nations, and
     Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia.
We pray also for the Israeli and Palestinian national leaders:
     Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, and
     Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel.
Generous God, give them persistence, wisdom and vision.
Give them love and compassion for all God's children.
You, O God, change hearts of stone into flesh,
     beat weapons into plows,
     give hope in the midst of despair.
May the fulfillment of your justice, mercy and faithfulness come.
May your call for peace be ever apparent in our words and actions.
You, O God, who create Easter people,
Hear our prayers.

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