A prayer for peace

By John Paarlberg, from a release by Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)

O God of life and love and peace,
we witness the violence and injustice in your world and our hearts ache.
Our hearts ache for the people of Israel—
for the victims of violent attacks by Hamas,
for those held hostage,
for those who live with fear and insecurity,
for families separated or bereaved.

O God of life and love and peace,
our hearts ache for the people of Gaza—
for the victims of the Israeli military assault,
for those grieving the death of children and loved ones,
for those being denied water, food and medical care,
for those who have been driven from their homes.

O God of life and love and peace, we pray—
that weapons of war be laid down,
that walls of separation be dismantled,
that prisoners be released,
that enmity and hatred give way to understanding,
that calls for revenge and violence will grow silent,
and that those in authority might find ways to work together for the good of all people.

O God, you have promised to speak peace to your people,
to those who turn to you in their hearts.
Kindle in our hearts a true love of peace.
Make us instruments of your peace
that the barriers of fear, suspicion and hatred may crumble and fall,
and the people of the world be united in justice and peace.

— John Paarlberg is a Regional Coordinator with Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), from New York. The Church of the Brethren is a member denomination of CMEP, represented on the CMEP board by Nathan Hosler, director of the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy.


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