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Peace Litany
Lutheran Peace Fellowship

Opening Prayer:  O God, it is your will to hold both heaven and earth in a single peace.  May the design of your great love shine upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows.  Bring peace in your Church, peace among nations, peace in our communities, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts.  Amen

Reader:  Do you have a vision of God’s shalom?

All:  “Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers and sisters, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called.” (1 Peter 3:8-9)

Reader:  Do you have a vision of Christian peacemaking?

All:  “'Put your sword back in its place,' said Jesus, 'for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.'”  (Matthew 26:52)

Reader:  Do you have a vision of Christian community?

All:  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  (Galatians 3:28)

Reader:  Do you have a vision of the Christian in the world?

All:  “The Lord God says to His servant, 'I the Lord have called you and given you power to see that justice is done on earth…'”  (Isaiah 42:6)

Reader:  Do you have a vision of Jesus’ way with conflict?

All:  “You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. '”  (Matthew 5:43-48)  “Seek peace, and pursue it.”  (Psalm 34: 14, 1 Peter 3:11)

Reader:  Do you have a vision of Christian leadership?

All:  “Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them…But not so with you. Rather, the greatest among you becomes like the youngest, the leader is one who serves.”  (Luke 22:24-27)

Reader:  Do you have a vision of Christian discipleship?

All:  “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed…. Live in harmony with one another …. Do not repay anyone evil for evil…. If your enemies are hungry, feed them…. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  (Romans 12:2ff)

Reader:  Have you glimpsed God’s vision?

All:  “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”   (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Reader:  Have you glimpsed the hope that is in God?

All:  “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress.”  (Isaiah 65:19)


Glen Gersmehl from an idea by Marian Wright Edelman

Psalm 85:8-10, Psalm 29: 11

   God our hope and our desire
   we wait for your coming
   as a woman longs for the birth
   the exile for yer home
   the lover for the touch of the beloved
   and the humble poor for justice
             Janet Morley, Christian Aid
                   from “Bread of Tomorrow”


Leader:  From words and deeds that encourage discord, prejudice, and hatred;

All:  O Lord deliver us.

Leader: From suspicions and fears that stand in the way of reconciliation;

All:  O Lord deliver us.

Leader: From hearing, believing, and speaking lies about other peoples or nations;

All:  O Lord deliver us.

Leader: From the coveting of money or power that so often forms the basis of the drive to kill;

All:  O Lord deliver us.

Leader: From inattention to the cries of the defenseless and needy that kills by indifference;

All:  O Lord deliver us.

Leader: From all that prevents the human family from fulfilling your promise of peace;

All:  O Lord deliver us.

Stir up your power, oh Lord, and come into our lives and our churches with your peace.  Lead us to be bearers of your shalom to our neighbors and to the world.  Fill us with trust and hope so that we may live truth and be love in your Name.  Amen.
                          Marva Dawn for Lutheran Peace Fellowship

   May the God who created you bless you with joy.  May the God who loves you fill you with compassion.  May the God who calls you by name be your source of strength.  May the God who forgives you completely set you free from all that holds you bound.  May God bless you and grant you, and our world, everlasting peace. Amen.
                           from “Our Prayers Rise Like Incense,” Pax Christi

     Dear God, What power there would be if each of us would try by your grace to make our church what you want it to be: your living, breathing presence of love in the community and to the ends of the earth; a prophetic voice that dares to speak against the evils of injustice, hunger, war-mongering, and similar sins that are destroying the world… Begin with me!
                           Ruth Youngdahl Nelson, “A Grandma’s Letters to God”

The followers of Christ have been called to peace. . . . And they must not only have peace but make it.  And to that end they renounce all violence and tumult.  In the cause of Christ nothing is to be gained by such methods . . . .  His disciples keep the peace by choosing to endure suffering themselves rather than inflict it on others.  They maintain fellowship where others would break it off.  They renounce hatred and wrong.  In so doing they overcome evil with good, and establish the peace of God in the midst of a world of war and hate.         
                            Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Cost of Discipleship,”
                            (killed by the Nazis in 1945 for his support of Jews and his opposition to Hitler)

If we are honest, we find the temptation to vengeance in our own hearts.  Yet we know that the first real victim of violence is the perpetrator.  What Gandhi said is true:  An eye for an eye results only in two blind persons.  As militarism and terrorism tighten their grip on our way of life, we need to support each other in the risk of unconditional love, translating it into concrete actions in the social and political arena as well as in our interpersonal relationships.  Only in this way can we make our contribution to breaking the spiral of violence and enlarge and encourage our hope. Only in this way can we be children of God and disciples of Jesus.
                             Mary Ellen Jegen

español Spanish version of this Peace Litany

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