Engaging our Faith

Prayers for Justice and Peace

An International Prayer for Peace
(Adapted from the Upanishads by Satish Kumar)

Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace.
Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.
Peace, peace, peace.

See also “Lead Us From Death to Life,” no. 581, New Century Hymnal)

Prayers for Peace

O God, who would fold both heaven and earth in a single peace:
Let the design of your great love lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows:
and give peace to your Church, peace among nations,
peace in our dwellings, and peace in our hearts:
through your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen

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Eternal Lord, whose kingdom knows only the sword of righteousness and justice, and where your only power is love, send forth your spirit so that all the peoples of the earth will join together as children of one Father, for yours alone is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayers for Justice

Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it:
a world where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or poor;
a world where the riches of creation are shared, and everyone can enjoy them;
a world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect;
a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.
Give us the inspiration and courage to build it, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Almighty God, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth,
and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness,
that they may become the Commonwealth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Almighty God, you have given all peoples one common origin, and your will is to gather them as one family in yourself. Fill the hearts of all with the fire of your love and the desire to ensure justice for all our sisters and brothers. By sharing the good things you give us, may we secure justice and equality for every human being, and a human society built on love and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Victims and Perpetrators of Injustice
(From “Prayers for Justice and Peace”)

For all those who have fallen victim to hatred and inhumanity, for those loved ones who are left behind to mourn, for the souls of those whose hearts are cold, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the children who are being born into this world of conflict and violence, for women and mothers who suffer needlessly, Lord, hear our prayer.
For all those who have been forced into unemployment, who long to return to work, for all those who struggle to support their families, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the soldiers who are misguided in thinking that their bullets will bring about peace, for those who feel called to conscientiously object to military orders, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the children who cry in their beds at night and wonder “what have I done?”
For the mothers and fathers who must try to explain the unexplainable, Lord, hear our prayer.
For all the children who have died before their time, for the soldiers who allow their uniform to strip them of their humanity, for the healers who are denied the opportunity to use their gifts, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the redemption of souls of both victim and perpetrator, for those who commit themselves to the forgiveness of sins, Lord, hear our prayer.

Prayers for Refugees
(from the Sabeel Center, Jerusalem)

O God,
Open our eyes that we may see the needs of others;
Open our ears that we may hear their cries;
Open our hearts that we may feel their anguish and their joy.
Let us not be afraid to defend the oppressed, the poor, the powerless, because of the anger and might of the powerful.
Show us where love and hope and faith are needed, and use us to bring them to those places.
Open our ears and eyes, our hearts and lives, that we may in these coming days be able to do some work of justice and peace for you. Amen.

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Almighty and merciful God, whose Son became a refugee and had no place to call his own;
look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger, homeless and hungry.
Bless those who work to bring them relief;
inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts;
and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your Commonwealth of justice and of peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.

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O God:
You bring hope out of emptiness, energy out of fear, new life out of grief and loss.
As Mary returned to mourn yet found unspeakable joy, so comfort all who have lost their homes
through persecution, war, exile, or deliberate destruction.
Give them security, a place to live, and neighbors they trust to be, with them,
a new sign of peace to the world. Amen

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A Meditation on Violence and Prayer
based on Isaiah 58:6-7, 10

This is the fast that pleases me:
to break unjust fetters,
to let the oppressed go free,
to share your bread with the hungry
and shelter the homeless poor.
If you do away with the yoke,
the clenched fist, the wicked word,
if you give your bread to the hungry
and relief to the oppressed,
your light will rise in the darkness.

Prayer for those dying in war or economic chaos

Hear our prayer for all those who will die today because of war and economic oppression, especially the children.

Prepare them for the agony, despair, and terror of the violence that is upon them. Comfort them and hold them close to the bosom of your most Immaculate Heart as they drink deeply of the bitter cup which is forced upon them. Wipe their tears, calm their fears, welcome them to peace and safety. Eternal rest grant to them, and may perpetual light shine upon them. May all rise in judgment against the wickedness that brings this violence upon the world.

Overturn the thrones of tyranny, scatter the unjust, cast down the bloody rulers who make the cry of the widow and orphan rise to heaven. Give us your grace and strength to stand against the demonic powers which prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Grant that peace with justice will come to all the world. Amen.

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CONTACT INFO

Ms. Edith Rasell, Ph.D.
Minister for Economic Justice
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
216-736-3709
raselle@ucc.org