A prayer for peace

The images of warring Israel and Hammas (along with so many other warring places) again mess with my longing and hope for a more peaceful world. They deflate and immobilize me and make me feel small and helpless. And then I wrestle a while, with what to do with my sadness, horror, grief, and frustration. Why do we kill each other? How can evil and hatred poured out as dehumanizing destruction ever move a people toward peace and reconciliation? It can't. It won't. Ever. Why do we keep doing this?

I'm reminding myself today of what Alexander Solzhenitsyn rightly said, that: "The line between good and evil runs not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either - but right through every human heart."

And so I'm praying today for Divine help in examining what's going on in my own heart. How can I lean into peace - starting with my own divided heart?

God, help me to see myself clearly and to search out and resist selfishness, pride, feelings of superiority, or hatred of any kind hidden in my own heart. Root it out, O God of infinite compassion, mercy, and grace.

And hear our prayer for the pain and suffering of the day. (From the United Church of Canada)

you are our hope, we shall not let go.
You help us seek peace, justice, hope, and dignity for Palestinians and Israelis,
You lead us towards courageous actions.


Even though there is uncertainty, indifference, and opposition,
grant us the strength to continually seek
an end to the occupation,
so that Israelis and Palestinians can create a better future for themselves.

Even as we dream of a time when Israel/Palestine will be a symbol of hope, peace, and reconciliation,
help us to be mindfully aware of the volatile present.

Draw close to the multitude of injured and grieving people in the Holy Land;
gather up the hopeless,
and abide with the physically and emotionally oppressed;
may your presence and your kin’dom comfort our siblings in their suffering.

prepare tables of dialogue and opportunities for truth-telling around us.
Open the hearts of hurting people so that they may witness small signs of hope.

Surely, with your help, we will continue to seek justice and resist evil,
all the days of our lives,
until all are able to live abundantly.

Grace and peace,