Resources

Prayer for Peace Amid Racial Conflicts

“Blessed are the peace-makers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matt. 5:9)

Opening Prayer
O God of peace, healing and justice.
We pray for all whose lives have been marred by the events of the past weeks in the city of Ferguson. Many are the losses that have been experienced: the death of a young man—the destruction of property- a community’s reputation belittled.
May those who mourn be comforted.
May those who in the months ahead work to rebuild this community be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord, who came to heal the wounds of sin and division. Amen.                                                          [Fr. Chuck Barthel]

Readings

From the Letter to the Colossians (3:15)
You are God’s chosen ones and God loves you. Clothe yourselves with heartfelt mercy, with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these virtues, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts; it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful. Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home in you.

From John’s Gospel (14:27)
Jesus said: Peace I leave with you; my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give. This is my gift to you: Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

Reflection: “Pax Amor Christi” (the peace of the love of Christ) [Kathleen Deignan, CND and Anima Schola]

Quiet Prayer

Community Response
[Adapted prayer of Pope Francis]

Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: “Never again violence!”; “With violence everything is lost”. Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.

Response: Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!

Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of violence into implements of peace and our quarreling into forgiveness.

Response: Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!

God of mercy, we especially lift up the community of Ferguson. Welcome into your loving presence our brother, Michael Brown, and pour out your comfort and consolation upon his family. Be present with Darren Wilson and his family as the search for truth unfolds. Help all to see that continued violence and destruction does not bring about justice. Send forth your healing, reconciliation, and forgiveness for all in the community.

Response: Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!

Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way, may peace triumph at last…. Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Renew our hearts and minds, so that…our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace! Amen.

Response: Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!

Closing Prayer
Gracious God,
We pray for peace in our communities this day.
We commit to you all who work for peace and an end to tensions,
And those who work to uphold law and justice.
We pray for an end to fear,
For comfort and support to those who suffer.
For calm in our streets and cities,
That people may go about their lives in safety and peace.
In your mercy, hear our prayers, now and always. Amen
                                                    [From Church of England]

Song: “Let there Be Peace on Earth” Sy Miller and Jill Jackson, #532