A few years ago, I was asked to write a Prayer for Peace to be included in a book written by a colleague. It seems fitting that I share this prayer today. I hope you find it meaningful.
PRAYER FOR PEACE
Gracious God, Creator of all truth and beauty,
all peace and justice:
You have created all humanity in Your image -
all of us bear Your fingerprints on our lives,
and You declared all creation to be good.
But this world has become something other than what You created it to be.
Instead of love and peace, compassion, and grace
our hearts and hands have contributed to
hatred and conflict,
apathy and judgment.
We have substituted arrogance for humility,
forgiveness for vengeance,
selfishness for service.
Yet, for some reason beyond our ability to comprehend,
You are here, now, in the midst of it all -
our self-made chaos.
How can that be?
How is it that You – the One who is above all, freely chooses to be in all -
in all the muck and mire of Your creation that has gone astray?
Help us to understand that
although You do not cause everything,
You desire good to come from all that happens.
When we are tempted to contribute to discord,
give us steady feet and calm minds.
When we marginalize, abuse, or steal hope,
turn our hearts and minds toward shalom -
that which is not simply the absence of conflict and injustice,
but the presence of wholeness,
well-being and goodness,
and thereby, become vehicles of Your transforming grace.
Even in the midst of darkness and chaos, though we do not see it,
You are at work.
You have the power to create beauty through us,
out of the mess we have created.
Give us patience as we work with You.
Gently but firmly restrain us from rushing ahead of You.
Partnering with You, let us see the ugliness in ourselves
and in our world,
so that we can transform it
rather than draw a veil over it.
Keep us from all apathy and hubris.
Let our hearts love so strongly
that they break time and again
at the sight of unrest.
Let us never be content simply to be peacekeepers,
but always work toward being peacemakers
so that our zeal for peace grows brighter and stronger
with each passing day.
Let our hearts be seedbeds,
our minds be drawing boards,
and our hands be instruments
of Your peace in the world.
Finally, dear Prince of Peace, we offer this prayer
not for peace “one day,”
but for peace now and every day…
Beginning with me. AMEN.