Spirit of the living God, help us to let love lead us forward. Many of our hearts are broken. The news in the world is grim. Violence is pervasive. Like ink, slowly seeping to the edge of a cloth, we watch as it spreads, eventually damaging the whole fabric. Soothe our suffering and enable us to hold one another in hope.
Free us, Living God, from grief / That we might live in peace.
Creator of the earth, we pray for those affected by and involved in the recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, (USA) where toxic liquids and poisonous gasses caused people to evacuate for days and now return to homes, schools, and work unable to trust the quality of the very air they breathe and the water they drink. Help those managing this environmental crisis to think clearly, lead objectively, and make decisions that protect and restore life in every form. Be with those charged with cleaning up this disaster, protecting their bodies from harm.
Free us, Living God, from fear / That we might live in peace.
God of Peace, soon it will be one year since Russia invaded Ukraine. Bless all those working to protect your people from the devastating effects of war. Increase the generosity of those who are able to offer refugees of war shelter, food, and comfort. Encourage those who remain in Ukraine and bring an end to this senseless destruction of life.
Free us, Living God, from war / That we might live in peace.
God of creation, at 4:17 am on February 6th, back-to-back earthquakes with magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.5 shook the people of Turkey and Syria awake, breaking and burying buildings and families, in a disaster for which there is no comparison in the last century. Millions are affected. Thousands are dead, thousands injured and still missing, and thousands work tirelessly night and day seeking the living among the dead. And there ARE living. The stories of rescue and recovery especially of babies and toddlers are as tragic as they are beautiful.
Free us, Living God, from anguish / That we might live in peace.
God of restoration, the gun violence in the USA is unending. On Monday, another mass shooting took the lives of 3 students at Michigan State University and has put 5 others in the Critical Care Unit of Sparrow Hospital. The students received the macabre text message to “run, hide, fight.” Some of those who did so had already survived mass shootings in other schools. We scream our laments, unable to see a way out of this cycle of violence, knowing it is taking lives that have only just begun. Help us find the exit door from this nightmare.
Free us, Living God, from gun violence / That we might live in peace.
Patient One, let us not forget to notice the beauty that remains despite the fears and sorrows that surround and confound us daily. For cancer patients, cured; environmental conditions, improved; the lost, found; the unemployed, contributing once again. For flowers that bloom, even in alleys; and the first laughter that rises up after grief. For hope that is not born of wishes, but of the real work extended by people caring for one another, we give you thanks.
Free us, Living God, from being blind to your presence in our midst / That we might live in peace.
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