Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Marking the Fifth Anniversary of "Shock & Awe"

Prayers in A time of War
(from Episcopal Church Peace Ministries)
Prayer for all of Good Conscience
Blessed One whose child Jesus forgave his enemies even as they afflicted and killed him; be with all those acting in good conscience in this time of war. Keep the hearts of all your people from hatred, rage, despair, and scorn, and give us the wisdom to listen to the witness of one another's lives for the building up of the human community to your honor and glory; we pray in the name of Jesus our Peacemaker. Amen.

Prayer for our enemies
Holy and merciful God: you have made us for yourself and you keep us in all our ways; hear our prayer for our enemies and all who wish us harm. Watch over them as you watch over us, and help us never to forget that they also are made in your image by your love. May the time soon come when our conflicts cease and that love prevails in all the world; through Jesus our Savior. Amen.

Prayer in our Fear and Anxiety
God our refuge and strength: may we be so assured of your near presence, so confident of your love for all your children, so committed to your promise of life eternal and fullness of joy, that we may stand fast through our distress and continue to serve you and minister to your world, though our foundations be shaken and we be brought to the time of testing; we pray through Christ our Savior. Amen.

Prayer in Grief for War
Blessed One, I cry out to you in grief that our human wisdom has failed and we have fallen into the sin of war and many lives are being lost; the evil we would not do, we do; the good we would do, we fail to do; and we dwell in this body of death despite your will to deliver us. Let me not push away depression and sorrow, but cherish them as signs of the knitting together of my heart with yours, through your boundless grace, through which alone, may I and the world be healed. I pray with Jesus, your Beloved, who also wept. Amen.

Prayer for those in Military Service
God our Stronghold and Shield: Watch over those dear to us serving in this time of war. Go before them to make their path safe, Shelter them by night and by day. Lift them up when they grow weary. Fortify their hearts when they are afraid. Defend them through the storm in the assurance of your presence and mercy, and keep them in the companionship of Jesus, through whom we pray. Amen.

Prayer for those in Captivity
In darkest night, blessed God, be near us and those in captivity for whom we pray. Quiet their hearts from fear and despair with the comfort of your presence. Keep them in hope and good courage. Turn the hearts and hands of their captors from violence and hate. Speedily bring those we love to liberation and homecoming. And do not forsake us in the time of waiting and great distress, we pray through Jesus your child, who also was led captive and in whom our souls find eternal freedom. Amen.

For those Missing in Wartime
God to whom not one of us is lost: hold those who are missing in your tender care, that whether living or dead they may rest secure in your arms, and free from pain or fear. Give your angels charge over them by night and by day, and give us courage to wait in hope, until that hour when we are reunited with them. We pray through Jesus our Savior. Amen.

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