Prayers In A Time of Conflict

The URC has offered this prayer following the outbreak of hostilities in Israel and Palestine:

You Shall Not Kill

O Lord,
we hear the news and don’t know what to say,
we see those scenes of violence and don’t know how to pray;
we read of people fighting over the Land and know it was ever thus.

We see the surprise and shock,
hear the cries for revenge,
taste the violence begetting more pain and sorrow,
and touch the bitterness of oppression and loss breeding yet more violence;
a vicious circle that destroys life and land leading to despair and hopelessness.

We hear of international outrage and messages of support,
but know there’s more to this complex story of land, justice, faith, security, and history
than can be encapsulated in easy sound bites.

We watch, listen, read, and try to pray but there are no words in us.

Lord, You told us not to kill;
a commandment venerated and wrestled with by Jews, Christians, and Muslims;
a hard commandment:
one we always want some wiggle room with
yet today we see Your children killing each other.

Violence
as a weapon of oppression,
purporting to be a weapon of protest,
seeking to be a bargaining chip
disfigures our humanity, distorts our perception, and disables our discipleship.

In these desperate times, Lord, give strength to those who work for peace:
diplomats and governments calling for restraint,
the Red Cross offering to visit all who are detained,
faith leaders proclaiming Your commandments in a world at war
and peace lovers praying for justice.

Bind up the broken hearted,
give grace to those seeking to end the spiral of violence,
grant wisdom to those seeking peaceful ways to resolve age old conflicts;
and give us the prayers, words, and perseverance needed
to make our discipleship, our efforts for peace and justice count.  Amen.

Other prayers from the URC may be found HERE.

 Embrace Middle East, an ecumenical Christian charity working for peace, have shared prayers for peace and de-escalation HERE