Prayers for Peace and Justice

These prayers are offered as one way for us to do the work of being peacemakers.  Use them daily, and allow them to spark within you prayers in your own words, from your heart.

Eternal God, in whom the whole family of earth is one, breathe your spirit into our hearts that we may establish a global community of trust and fellowship, justice and peace.  Illumine the darkness of our minds that we may see your light, think your thoughts, and serve your glory by advancing the greater good of all people; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Reform, O God, the passions and designs of our hearts.  Let your steady hand guide the nations, and bring forth out of our discord a harmony more perfect than we can conceive – a new humility, a new understanding, a new purity and sincerity, a new sense of truth, and a new hunger and thirst for your love to rule the earth.  Amen.

Grant, O God, that our President and leaders may approach every question of foreign policy from your point of view, that their noblest thoughts may be purified and strengthened.  Help us check in ourselves and in others every temper which makes for violence, and all promptings of self-assertion, isolation, and arrogance, that we may understand the aspirations of other countries, and may gladly do what lies in us to remove every misunderstanding, thus serving the welfare of all people.  Amen.

O God our Father, in whom is the power of perfect understanding: heal the dissensions which divide us, and bring us back into that unity of love which is the likeness of your nature; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Holy God, you have made of one blood all nations that dwell upon earth.  Look with mercy upon us, and drive away our evil passions of fear and hatred.  Grant that united in good will we may live together in charity and joy, each in the praise of great achievements, in rivalry of good and beneficent deeds, and sharing in truthful and just dealings with one another; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Increase, O God, the spirit of neighborliness among all who dwell on earth, that in peril we may uphold one another, in suffering tend one another, and in loneliness befriend one another.  Grant us brave and enduring hearts that we may be strengthened, until the strife of these days be ended and you give peace in our time; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

(Adapted from To Will One Thing, by William Scarlett, 1994, Forward Movement Publications)

O Thou protector of the universe, ruler of its destiny, abode of happiness and peace, ocean of mercy, friend of the poor, destroyer of the pangs of want, everlasting, whole, unending, beginningless, perfect, ancient of days, refuge of thy people, beloved of the heart, and guardian and mainstay of life, grant us peace in our time.  Amen.

(From Book of Prayers, by M. K. Gandhi, 1999, Berkeley Hills Books)

O God, it is your will to hold both heaven and earth in a single peace.  Let the design of your great love shine on the waste of our wraths and sorrows, and give peace to your Church, peace among nations, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts.  Amen.

Look kindly on our world, O God, as we suffer and struggle with one another.  Look kindly upon your Church, driven by the same necessity; and may the light we have seen in Jesus illuminate and brighten all the world.  Amen.

Lord, let us be at peace within ourselves.  (Silence).

Let us accept that we are profoundly loved and need never be afraid.  (Silence).

Let us be aware of the source of being that is common to us all and to all living creatures.  (Silence).

Let us be filled with the presence of your great compassion toward ourselves and toward all living beings.  (Silence).

Realizing that we are all nourished from the same source of life, may we so live that others be not deprived of air, food, water, shelter, or the chance to live. (Silence)

With humility, let us work and pray for the establishment of peace in our hearts and peace on earth.  (Silence).

(The New Zealand Prayer Book)

Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquility your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Lord God, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and peace: Give to the leaders and people of this country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

O Lord our God, grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy name.  Amen.

O God, look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all people may live in peace, as children of one Father, to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever.  Amen.

Almighty God, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among us that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that we may become a new community of the Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping the men and women who serve in the armed forces of our country.  Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face their fears; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

O God, the source of all life, through Jesus you taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us: We remember in prayer the leaders, citizens and military personnel of those countries with whom we are in conflict (especially….).  Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty and revenge; protect them and us from injury and death; and finally enable us all to stand reconciled before you in peace; through the mercy of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you:  Look with compassion upon all who have lost their health and freedom through the suffering of war and violence.  Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love.  Amen.

O God our Father, we remember Jesus, who forgave his enemies while suffering shame and death:  Strengthen those who suffer for the sake of conscience; when they are accused, save them from speaking in hate; when they are rejected, save them from bitterness; when they are imprisoned, save them from despair; and to us your servants, give grace to respect their witness and to discern the truth, that our society may be cleansed and strengthened; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

O God, you have bound us together in a common life.  Help us, in the midst of our work for justice and truth, to confront one another without jealousy or bitterness, and to live together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and destitute, the old and sick, and all who have none to care for them.  Help us bring healing to those who are broken in body or spirit, turning their sorrow into joy; through the power of Jesus Christ, who for our sake became poor that we might be made rich.  Amen.

Compassionate God, look with pity upon all people who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions.  Have mercy upon us.  Help us eliminate our cruelty to one another.  Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all.  And grant that every one may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Heavenly Father, as Jesus came not to be served but to serve, we ask you to bless all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others, that with wisdom, patience and courage they may minister to the needy, outcast, stranger, and enemy, for the love of him who laid down his life for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many voices: Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may do their part in making the heart of your people wise, their mind sound, and their will righteous, to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Holy God, who created all peoples in your image, we thank you for the wonderful diversity of races and cultures in this world.  Enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of friendship, and show us your presence in those who most differ from us, until our knowledge of your love is made perfect in our love for all your children.  Amen.

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.  Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.  For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  Amen.

(Adapted from The Book of Common Prayer)