EDITOR’S NOTE – Strategic Praying for Peace

Keith 1By Keith Lyndaker Schlabach

I am a recovering humanist.

Often with good intentions and passion I have poured myself into a particular cause or idea with some accomplishment but also with a realization and a deep sense of dissatisfaction at the end that perhaps my work was not Spirit-led.

Prayer changes things. If nothing or no one else, it changes me. Remember the old adage? Be the change you wish to see in the world. I have dedicated my life to peace. Alas, I do not see the same dedication to prayer – let alone praying without ceasing.

So to that end I offer the following:

ConflictMap.org is an excellent visual resource which shows a map of the current conflicts occurring in the world. Clicking on a hotspot reveals a window with pertinent current info. In the upper left-hand column are conflicts that are the focus for the day. Clicking on these opens up a window at the spot on the map with pertinent info.

Focus Verse: If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

Strategic Praying for Peace:
1. Click on the link http://www.conflictmap.org/#
2. Spend some time in silence while looking at the map of the entire world.
3. Ask for God’s spirit of reconciliation to permeate the whole earth.
4. Click on the conflicts that are the focus for the day.
5. Pray for the people whose lives are affected by the conflict. Pray for a peaceful solution that is just and equitable to all parties. Pray that any outside influences or issues that are fueling the conflict are resolved. Pray that those who are doing violence would be convicted and be filled with an overwhelming love for those around them. Or use any of the Prayers for Peace included below.
6. Keep these people and region in your thoughts and prayers throughout the day.
7. Repeat each day or as often as you wish.

Prayers for Peace:
Lord Jesus Christ, We praise You: Bring peace into the world By bringing Your peace into the hearts of all. Help us to turn away from sin And to follow You in love and service.
Glory be yours, and honour, For ever and ever.
Amen.

Lead me from death to life, from lies to truth Lead me from despair to hope from fear to trust Lead me from hatred to love from war to peace Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe, peace, peace, peace. Amen

The Forseable Future
By Carol Penner leadinginworship
A hymn of praise for fists uncurled!
Alleluias on our lips for ammunition abandoned!
Guns dropped, forgotten,
bombs defused, harmless!
Fervent thanks for tanks rusting,
for jet fighters permanently grounded!
This future, peace-bright,
hovers on the horizon of your kingdom.
It will dawn the day we remember
there are no soldiers—
only your children, beloved and loving,
there are no borders—
only one world, creative and creating,
there has been no collateral damage–
only broken hearts, broken homes, broken dreams.
It will come the day we remember to pray,
“Your kingdom come, your will be done.”
The Spirit and the church say, “Come!”
Amen

Jesus, rightful Advocate of peace, Elegant Champion of reconciliation, Your victories echo harmoniously. You taught me the way towards peace, My assurance of congenial oneness. Teach me to carry the torch of peace, That it may reside within my heart And radiate in my surroundings. Through the Grace of Your power, Transform the world into a Heaven. You are the only hope of mankind: You are the most gracious Peace Maker! Amen

Prayer for World Peace
by Sister Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B.
Great God, who has told us
“Vengeance is mine,”
save us from ourselves,
save us from vengeance in our hearts
and the acid in our souls.
Save us from our desire to hurt as we have been hurt,
to punish as we have been punished,
to terrorize as we have been terrorized.
Give us the strength it takes
to listen rather than to judge,
to trust rather than to fear,
to try again and again
to make peace even when peace eludes us.
We ask, O God, for the grace
to be our best selves.
We ask for the vision
to be builders of the human community
rather than its destroyers.
We ask for the humility as a people
to understand the fears and hopes of other peoples.
We ask for the love it takes
to bequeath to the children of the world to come
more than the failures of our own making.
We ask for the love it takes
to care for all the peoples
of Afghanistan and Iraq, or Palestine and Israel
as well as for ourselves.

Give us depth of soul, O God,
to constrain our might,
to resist the temptation of power,
to refuse to attack the attackable,
to undertsand
that vengeance begets violence,
and to bring peace – not war – wherever we go.

For You, O God, have been merciful to us.
For You, O God, have been patient with us.
For You, O God, have been gracious to us.

And so may we be merciful
and patient
and gracious
and trusting
with these others whom you also love.

This we ask through Jesus,
the one without vengeance in his heart.
Amen

Blessed are the Peacemakers,
for they shall be known as 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.
Amen

Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
that we may walk the paths of the Most High.
And we shall beat our swords into ploughshares,
and our spears into pruning hooks.
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation—
neither shall they learn war any more.
And none shall be afraid,
for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.
Amen

Prayers are from a variety of sources including:
http://www.mcc.org/FearNot/world/prayer
http://www.souledout.org/newworldreligion/worldprayers/peaceprayers.html
http://www.worldprayers.org/archive/index/selected_prayers/peace_and_healing_index.html
http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=135

Originally published on peacegrooves.wordpress.com

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