Gracious Lord, we dream of a world free of poverty and oppression, and we yearn for a world free of vengeance and violence. And we pray for your peace.
When our hearts ache for the victims of war and oppression, help us to remember that you healed people simply by touching them… , and give us faith in our ability to comfort and heal bodies and minds and spirits that have been broken by violence.
When the injustice of this world seems too much for us to handle, help us to remember that you fed five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish… , and give us hope that what we have to offer will turn out to be enough, too.
When fear of the power and opinions of others tempts us not to speak up for the least among us, help us to remember that you dared to turn over the tables of money changers… , and give us the courage to risk following you without counting the cost.
When we feel ourselves fill with anger at those who are violent and oppressive, help us remember that you prayed for those who killed you… , and give us compassion for our enemies, too.
When we tell ourselves that we have given all we can to bring peace to this world, help us to remember your sacrifice… , and give us the miracle of losing a little more of ourselves in serving you and our neighbors.
Walk with us, Lord, as we answer your call to be peacemakers. Increase our compassion, our generosity and our hospitality for the least of your children. Give us the courage, the patience, the serenity, the self-honesty and the gentleness of spirit that are needed in a world filled with turmoil and terror.
Written by Jack Knox, pastor of Salem (OR) Mennonite Church.
HT to Steve Kymes at Anabaptist Distinctives