Prayer: we don’t want to be lonely survivors of a new great war

Lord, teach us how to pray, and help us to pray now.

We thank you for the courage and sacrifice of so many people who have risked everything, given everything for our safety. We pray for all the people involved in war today. We ask for protection over their bodies and minds, and their behaviour. We pray that the soldiers would be able to go home, that the survivors could get back to their houses, that we would have peace. For people who are injured, we pray for healing and release from pain. For people whose family and friends have been killed, please lead them through their grief, keeping close to them.

Lord, we look back at the terrible, stupid mistakes of the past and almost despair. We are sorry for the wars, for the genocides. We are sorry for what allowed these things to happen: for the hateful words, for treating people as non-people, for the creep of escalating violence.

We look at all this and accept that these are things that we did. We cry with you for the lost.

Last century unthinkable suffering did come to us. We are scared of what could come to us this century. Will you allow drought, starvation and war because of climate change to overwhelm us? We beg you for mercy. Like always, it is our terrible, stupid mistakes that are walking us into hell. Will you make a path for us to escape?

We know you give us gifts that we don’t deserve.

Prayed at my church on Remembrance day, 2020-11-08.

We also know we don’t control you, and that sometimes dreadful things do happen.

We plead for ourselves and our children: save us.

Give us the ability to work together to make enough from limited resources. Provide water and food. Help us to share. Prevent us wasting what we have on crushing each other to scramble to the front of the queue.

We pray for release from this pandemic. We pray for an end to the wars that are happening now. We pray against the future wars we fear. We pray against the idea that we need someone to blame.

We ask that we will learn to love our enemies, and work with them against the common threats of diminishing land, food and water. We ask that we will use our ingenuity and industry to build the tools of peace.

We don’t want to be lonely survivors of a devastating great war: we want to be part of a generation that loved our enemies and prayed for the people hurting us, and overcame hate to survive together.

We have no chance without your help. Please help.

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