We are a people who love war.
We say we want peace,
but too often we are at war with ourselves,
with our neighbors,
with those whose thinking differs from ours.
We are quick to judge,
and slow to grace.
Our own broken lenses skew our perspectives–
whether we are staring in the mirror,
or out our own windows.
So we gather together as a community of faith–
trusting in your presence in and among us–
to open our hearts and minds
to clear our vision
that we can begin to see
each other as you see us.
As we lift up the prayers of this congregation,
instill in us your love,
and your peace–
towards ourselves and towards each other.
[read aloud the prayer cards]
And help us to acknowledge the silence that often speaks louder that words.
Hear our unspoken prayers as well!
[pause for silent prayer]
Teach us to listen–
to ourselves and each other–
in our silences.
And remind us that love is a commitment
renewed each morning.
It works for good in the world.
It stirs up in us a desire to serve
and a longing to be peaceable.
It breaks us open to vulnerability
and strengthens our resolve
to walk in the living traditions of Jesus:
to see the stranger and greet them with open arms;
to care for those in need;
to welcome the disenfranchised.
Teach us how to best love
and best live out your peace.