We adopted this prayer from the Book of Common Prayer and the written prayers of St. Francis of Assisi, Francis Cardinal Arise & Walter Brueggemann.

Prayers of the People.

LEADER:

Lord God, the world trembles out of control. The violence builds, some by terrorists, some by greed, some by intolerance, violence on every side. We believe that you stand in the midst of out-of-control violence as One who is steadfast, loyal, reliable. We specifically pray for freedom—freedom from persecution and discrimination, religious freedom for all people. We pray that this will be valued and respected in every country, by all political and religious groups, and by all peoples.

ALL:

Lord, hear our prayer.

LEADER:

We pray specifically for our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted by the terror of ISIS and Boko Haram. Lord, we bring these horrifying and violent situations before you.

ALL:

Lord, protect your people.

LEADER:

God, You are the source of all compassion. Bring healing and comfort to those mourning the murder of our 21 Coptic brothers. These men were Christian heroes. Many of them lost their lives with Jesus’ name on their lips. They were valiant saints—but more. They were sons, fathers, brothers, husbands, friends. Hear the cries of those who mourn their loss. And Lord, welcome them as martyrs into your presence, we pray:

ALL:

Lord, have mercy. Christ have mercy.

LEADER:

Lord, when we witness these atrocities, we experience the sinking sense that the world is not safe, that our lives are not free from threat, and we wonder if assault will come to our well-ordered lives. Help us not trust the flying jets and uniformed soldiers or bombs to fix this.  Lord Jesus, you taught us to pray for those who persecute us and for those we know as “enemies.” When you hung on the Tree, you prayed that the Father forgive those who were murdering and mocking you. Help us not simply hate groups like ISIS and Boko Haram; help us hear the whisper of the crucified one: “Forgive them, they know not what they are doing.” Help us pray for them and we ask you for the grace of conversion for them.

ALL:

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy.

LEADER:

Lord Jesus, You gave Saul, the great persecutor of the church and the murderer of Stephen the grace of conversion. May these terrorists be converted like Saul on the road to Damascus. May these persecutors and enemies of your church regret their mistakes and make reparation for their murderous acts; and may they acknowledge You as Lord and Savior, to whom be honor and glory forever.

ALL:

Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, right this wrong.

LEADER:

We pray that we, your people, will move beyond the reaction of fear to the action of caring, from cheering violent protectiveness to valuing all human life. May we be a sign of steadfastness in a world of faithlessness, that anxiety may not win the day. You are the one who said, “Do not be anxious,” and now we submit to you.

ALL:

Lord, hear our prayer.

LEADER:

Lastly, Lord, make us, and those who lead the nations of the world, 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 despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.  Inspire the Church around the world with compassion. Fill us with hope for a future of peace built on justice for all. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and Light of the World, Who lives and reigns forever and ever.

ALL:

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy.