Sunday, May 29, 2011 begins the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel 2011. Here is a prayer for that day from the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem:
Isaiah 2:1-5; 11:9
“In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it….”
“They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea….”
Almighty and Merciful God, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, you gathered the first Christians in Jerusalem. Grant that, like the first church of Jerusalem, we may come together, and with courage, we may preach and live the Word, and the good news of truth, reconciliation, and peace.
God Creator, Giver of Life, Bearer of Pain, Initiator of Love, you made the world and everything in it. You created the human race in your image and likeness, and gave us the earth for all to share. Break down the walls that separate us.
God of Justice, your generosity is without bounds. Guard us from selfishness; inspire us to be instruments of love, and witnesses of your mercy and justice. Help us to face challenges and to struggle against all that is born of injustice. Lead us to act together in places and situations of want and need: where families are driven from their homes, where the vulnerable suffer in the hands of the powerful, where poverty and unemployment destroy lives.
God of Hope, you continue to call us to work for Peace in our world, broken and wounded by injustice, violence, and indifference. Alone, we are overwhelmed by challenges but together, and inspired by your Spirit, we can prevail beyond dreams and imagination. In fear we lose hope, and feel the futility of our efforts. Instill in our hearts and minds the image of your suffering and compassionate love as a source of courage and strength.
God, Protector of the widow, the orphan and the stranger, in a world where many know despair, you raised your Son Jesus Christ to give hope for humanity and renewal to the earth. Strengthen and unify your Church against the forces of evil in this part of the world, where aggression of all forms, killings and the blood of martyrs shed even in places of worship, obscure the hope of a new life.
God of Peace and Mercy, inspire nations to transform oppression and violence into freedom and peace for the sake of the poor, the vulnerable and the broken-hearted. Help us to respect and promote the equality and dignity of all, particularly in your Holy Land. Grant discernment to leaders and legislators, that righteousness and truth may flourish among all peoples throughout the world.
God our Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, who taught us to yearn through prayer for the coming of your Kingdom. You are able to accept in us what we cannot acknowledge; to name in us what we cannot bear to speak of; to hold in your memory what we tried to forget. Teach us to pray together to resist the evil and oppression by our non-violent actions and love for one another. May your Son’s earthly life be the model for our own, as we recognize your presence and guidance through all our joys and tribulations.
We pray these in the name of the Risen Lord, and in the power of His Spirit. Amen.
Learn about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ministries and policies related to Israel and Palestine.