Peace Prayer

This is the prayer I offered at the Irvington Peace Rally on September 7, 2014.

Let us Pray:

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,

We are gathered together here in this place
heavy of heart.
Hearts drowning in grief as the river of death
rages through out city;
Hearts drowning in the tears of
fathers & mothers, sister & brothers –
lives torn apart because of life
too soon gone;
Hearts drowning in anger at those
who so carelessly kill.

Grasping for air, O God,
we cry to you!

We cry here in this place
turning to you.
Seeking that your river of life
wash over the rapids of death and destruction.
For you are the author of life
& the give of breath!

But we, also, come seeking forgiveness.

Forgiveness for the church – your church –
who has spent too long sitting
at the rivers edge –
to afraid to step in and turn the tide.
Forgiveness for neglecting to love
our neighbors as ourselves.
For letting their problems remain theirs
& not seeing their problems as ours.
Forgiveness for turning away from life
& embracing hatred of enemy,
for refusing confession,
for running from reconciliation,
from being afraid.

We come to you confessing our brokenness
& need of repair.

We come knowing that you take the broken heart
& mend it in to a new and stronger thing.

We come in faith.

As we seek peace in our city,
we ask for your guidance,
your direction,
your spirit.

We seek your peace in our city,
& we come in faith, knowing
you are the one who brings streams of shalom.

Just as you brought peace from
the bonds of Pharaoh’s chains;
Just as you brought peace to a
starving Ruth & Naomi;
Just as you brought peace
back from Babylon;
Just as you brought peace into the word,
born in a barn –

We know you will bring your peace.
& your shalom will be known
when your people step
out of the raging river of fear
towards the living waters;
when your people
come together
not as black & white,
Hispanic & Asian,
LGBT & Straight,
but

Your peace will come when we all band together
bound together,
in our mutual web of destiny.

The destiny of a Beloved Community.

A community that stands not
at the rivers edge,
but in the raging rapids reaching out and saving life.
A community that stakes one broken and left for dead
and cares for her.
That mourns with those who mourn.
Praying that your healing & comfort
rest on the grieving – whose joy and hope seem ever erased.
To be a community that sees everyone
as bearing your divine image –
even the perpetrators of violence;
for your mercy & grace are for all people.
All are redeemable.
All are yours.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,

We are gathered here in this place
with hearts ready to be healed.
In a city that needs healed.

Give us the power to be bearers of your light;
of your transforming;
redeeming;
reconciling;
never ending peace.

Wash us in the river of life –
was your city in the river of life –
Made new to make new.

And the people of God who love God say – Amen & Amen

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