Prayers for Personal and Corporate Worship
National Service of Mourning in Remembrance of those who have died in Palestine and Israel
O Mystery as grand as the universe
O Mighty Force of all creation,
O Power beyond all our power,
You have come to us as an infant.
Vulnerable, fragile, beautiful.
You have come to us
in the midst of poverty,
powerlessness and longing.
Come again, O Promiser of Peace.
Come again, to the city of your birth
mired in fear, oppression and injustice.
Come again, where bullet holes
still pock the walls of Sanctuary.
Come again, where Children dream
of homes they have never seen.
Come again, where a single key
or the number 194 cry out again
of forced journey to Bethlehem.
Be born again in the camps.
Be born again in stables and homes.
Be born again in many cities and languages.
Be born again among nations.
Be born again in places of injustice.
Be born again a promise of hope,
a sign of love and joy to the world.
Be born again in our hearts,
that we too might be called
Makers of peace
and Children of God.
The Right Rev. David Giuliano, Moderator of The United Church of Canada
Advent worship resources are available on the United Church website: http://www.united-church.ca/worship
A Prayer for Courage
You ask for our courage to protect the powerless
but we prefer to remain safe, preserving ourselves for future challenges.
You ask us to speak out for justice
but we whisper, in case we are heard.
You ask us to stand up for what is right,
but we would rather blend in to the crowd
You ask us to have faith,
when doubting seems so much easier.
Lord forgive our calculated efforts to follow you,
only when it is convenient to do so,
only in those places where it is safe to do so,
only with those who make it easy to do so.
Together we pray
God forgive us and renew us;
Inspire us and challenge us
So that we might risk the journey, to your kingdom with you,
(This is a Prayer of Confession from a service at GreenBelt, UK, in 2003, read at a service at Cheltenham Races. It was an opening prayer of a recently held skype meeting of the international Kairos core group.
When, my God when
When I sing
I will sing of a land rich in history
The Holy land
Where Judaism Islam and Christianity share
A common history, land, and life
A people seeking God, God of ages
A land of wounded peoples, wounded earth
Where diverse voices join in faith
Seeking a vision of co-existence
Struggling for justice and peace
I will sing of life celebrated,
Grief, anger and fear shared
People struggling for the freedom to exist
In this Holy land
God give me the words to sing
When I speak
I will speak about the power of fear
Fear of the other, neighbor friend
Fear, socially constructed to legitimize
Oppressive actions on behalf of those who are afraid
Afraid of children throwing stones to resist occupation
Fear to share water, land and life abundant
Fear to call into question structures of power
Which violate people’s rights with impunity
Fear to name apartheid as racist system
Sustained by western imperialism
A sin that cannot be justified in this time
Fear to speak
God give me a voice to speak
When I lament
I will lament the walls and barriers that divide
Neighbors friends and relatives
The pain and suffering of families separated
The everyday humiliation of check points
Walls and barriers that imprison
Walls and barriers that impoverish communities
Cut off from economic life
Schools, hospitals, freedom and life
Walls and barriers that confiscate land
Olive gardens, and villages
For the building of ever expanding settlements
I will lament the house demolitions
The forced removals of indigenous communities
Seeking simply to live
The pain of a homeless mother
Girl child who can no longer go to school
A male young adult turned a suicide bomber
A child who learns someone on the other side
Seeks to kill them
Crying out Why God why
God give me the courage to lament
When I hope
I will hope in the Patriarchs
Heads of Local Christian Churches
Rabbis for Peace, Imams
Despite the obstacles, walls and barriers
Struggle for the restoration of peace in the land
I will hope in the IBDAA, Sabeel, Women in Black
Alternative Tourism Group,B’Tselem, BatShalom,
Jerusalem Inter-Church Centre, Jerusalem Centre for Women
Dar al-Kalima College,
Aida, Deheisheh Refugee Camps
Christian Peace Teams, Ecumenical accompaniers
Men women young adults and children
The bright stars of Jerusalem
Cultivating, communicating hope
Resisting oppression, constructing peace
God give me the courage to hope
When I pray
I will pray for justice peace
for hope everlasting
That all may have life
God hear my prayer
Reflections from a solidarity visit to Palestine/Israel
Omega Bula, Spring 2007