We are sharing an important word from the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ:
On January 3, 2020, the officers of our UCC’s national setting called upon all settings of the United Church of Christ to join in a time of prayer and fasting for peace during the season of Epiphany. This call to prayer and fasting came after the killing by the U.S. of Major General Suleimani of Iran, which led to rising tensions in the region and the deployment of additional military personnel to the Middle East. We also watch the unrelenting fires in Australia with horror, overwhelmed by the enormous devastation to people, animal life, and property, and the earthquake in Puerto Rico that has left so much suffering in its wake. We are mindful of so much in our world and in our nation that compels us to pray for the peace of God’s people and Creation.
The Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ invites all who feel led to join with us in a time of fasting and prayer January 11-12th.
A Prayer for Peace
O God whose Son was born the Prince of Peace, whose angels proclaimed “peace on earth” to frightened shepherds, we come to You with trembling hearts as peace unravels all around us…
The earth quakes beneath the feet of our siblings in Puerto Rico, Fires rage in Australia, devastating your people and your wild life, Tensions build among nations and missiles fly through the darkness of night, In so many places and in so many ways our world aches with pain and sorrow.
O God, the horror of these days rests heavy upon our shoulders. Our stomachs pitch with fear and our minds cloud with worry. Every fiber in us yearns for the deep peace you have promised, for the fullness of life you desire. And so with hands clasped in prayer and faces raised to the skies, we beg of you:
Forgive our own nation and others for our shared complicity in the things that make for war, for our disregard for human life and the sanctity of your created Earth. Have mercy upon us when we ourselves thirst for revenge, when we fail to love our enemies as you have commanded.
Grant cool heads and wise decision-making to all leaders who have it within their power to choose between war and peace. Accompany military personnel whose duty leads them into places of intensifying danger and conflict. Sow hope among those who despair in the face of disaster. Lend safety to those in harm’s way. Draw us toward one another in love and grace, help us lean on one another and on You for support when our hope falters. And cultivate among us the faith and strength sufficient for these days.
O Holy and Loving God, You have told us that peacemakers are blessed in your sight. May all we do and all we pray be worthy of that blessing in this moment. In the name of Jesus Christ we humbly ask all this, Amen.
(Written by Reverend Shari Prestemon, Conference Minister, Minnesota Conference UCC, 1/8/2020)
Grace and Peace,