Pope Frances has called for a day of fasting and prayer for the people of Syria. Today we are having a labyrinth walk to focus our hearts on word peace. Now it seems prayer is a still moment in our lives, but sometimes it can be very active as we involve others in the community and reach our fingertips out to be stretched in faith. Today will be such a day.
Below I have some of the prayers I have assembled for people to use.
World Prayers for Peace
A Prayer for Our World in light of the crisis in Syria
We confess to you that we are often blind to the plight of our neighbors. Instead of turning the other cheek, we look the other direction. Rather than hearing the cry of the oppressed, we turn up the volume in our lives. Rather than be prophetic, we heap words that are meaningless to make us sound good.
There are people dying in Syria - suffering, displaced, lost. The innocent go to bed each night, afraid of what the darkness will bring.
We pray for peace in Syria.
We pray for those in power.
We pray for those who are suffering.
We pray for leaders who must make difficult decisions.
Will you join us as we pray and fast this day? Will you change what is happening in Syria, as you sit in the ashes with the innocent, the suffering and the lost...
We don't know the answers, but we know that you do.
Please draw us closer to you.
Please hear our prayers.
Please show us your way.
Free us for joyful obedience, not because of what we can do...but because of who you are.
-Bothell UMC, D J del Rosario
Sufi Prayer for Peace
Send Thy peace, O Lord, which is perfect and everlasting, that our souls may radiate peace.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may think, act,
and speak harmoniously.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may be contented
and thankful for Thy bountiful gifts.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that amidst our worldly strife we may enjoy thy bliss.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may endure all,
tolerate all in the thought of thy grace and mercy.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that our lives may become a
divine vision, and in Thy light all darkness may vanish.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, our Father and Mother, that we Thy children on earth may all unite in one family.
-- Sufi Prayer
An Islamic Prayer for Peace
In the Name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful: Praise be to the Lord of the Universe
who has created us and made us into tribes and nations that we may know each other,
not that we may despise each other.
If the enemy incline towards peace, do thou also incline towards peace, and trust in God, for the Lord is one that hears and knows all things. And the servants of God Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility, and when we address them, we say, "Peace."
-- U.N. Day of Prayer for World Peace 2
A Jewish Prayer for Peace
Grant us peace. Your most precious gift, O Eternal Source of Peace, and give us the will to proclaim its message to all the peoples of the earth.
Bless our country, that it may always be a stronghold of peace, and its advocate among the nations.
May contentment reign within its borders, health and happiness within its homes.
Strengthen the bonds of friendship among the inhabitants of all lands.
And may the love of Your name hallow every home and every heart.
Blessed is the Eternal God, the source of Peace.
-- From The Gates of Prayer: The New Union Prayer Book, by the Central Conferences of American Rabbis
Cheyenne Prayer for Peace
Let us know peace.
For as long as the moon shall rise,
For as long as the rivers shall flow,
For as long as the sun shall shine,
For as long as the grass shall grow,
Let us know peace.
-- Cheyenne Prayer
Buddhist Prayer for Loving Kindness
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to
the light of their true nature.
May all beings be free.
-- Metta Prayer
A Christian Prayer for Peace
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
But I say to you that hear, love your enemies; do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you; pray for those who abuse you.
To those who strike you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from those who take away your cloak, do not withhold your coat as well.
Give to everyone who begs from you, and of those who take away your goods, do not ask them again. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
-- U.N. Day of Prayer for World Peace 2
A Hindu Prayer for Peace
Supreme Lord, let there be peace in the sky and in the atmosphere. Let there be peace in the plant world and in the forests. Let the cosmic powers be peaceful. Let the Brahman, the true essence and source of life, be peaceful. Let there be undiluted and fulfilling peace everywhere.
-- The Atharva Veda
A Non Traditional Prayer for World Peace
Spirit of Life and Love, be present with all who are suffering terribly from violence. Lift up the hearts of those who fear. And inspire courage among the peacemakers. Be present with political leaders, ensuring a retreat from violence and a procession towards the peace table. Guide the hands of all those who are caring for the injured, the hungry and the grieving. And, open our own hearts to compassion. Remind us of our complicity and responsibility. And lead us towards generous engagement—always towards a vision of peace.
--Adapted from the Unitarian Universalist Tradition
What is Sabbath and why is this post on Saturday? Sabbath is the time that is set aside, scripturally, to rest from work and to make the day holy (Genesis 2:1-3). Traditionally, this goes from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Why sundown to sundown? Because Genesis 1:3 states that there was evening and then there was morning that first day. In early Christian tradition, many followers of Jesus were from Jewish communities that would observe Sabbath and Temple tradition on Friday/Saturday and they had to figure out how/when to do their Christian worship. A day for Jewish holiness and a day for Christian holiness and resurrection celebration is generally viewed as the way things developed over time.
So the questions or points are: How do we find a day of rest? How do we make it holy? The same root word for holy as is used to develop the word health. So maybe another way of looking at the question is--how do we find healing?
© post, Terri Stewart
#findingGod #rest #Sabbath