Christian Prayers and Worship Resources

Prayers for a Fractured World



Prayers for peace where there is conflict or disaster

prayers for peace

A selection of prayers for those who are suffering through oppression or natural disaster throughout the world, together with verses and quotes that seem relevant.

Many struggle to see God when faced with natural disaster or the cruelty of other human beings. But God is always there in the hands of those who offer help and sustainance - whether offered by those of faith or no faith, for all love has its source in him.

 

'The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.'
(Psalm 34:18)

 

'Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.'
(Psalm 94:17-19)


We pray for all whose lives
have been touched by tragedy,
whether by accident
or a deliberate act.
For those who mourn,
immerse them in your love
and lead them through this darkness
into your arms, and light.
For those who comfort,
be in both the words they use
and all that's left unspoken;
fill each heart with love.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
whose own suffering brought us life,
here and for eternity. Amen

©John Birch

 


 

We are moulded, each one of us,
in the image of God,
and within our souls there is a fingerprint
none can erase.
We pray for those who have no regard
for anyone but self,
who put no value on human life.
For nations and individuals who abuse and kill.
We are not called to be judge or jury,
but we are called to be agents of change,
and if the butterfly that flaps its wings
should be our attitude to others
then so be it, Lord,
and may the hurricane this generates
somewhere within the world
reach into the hearts and souls of those
for whom we pray, and reveal to them
how precious are those
for whom they have no love,
and how precious are they
who now bring tears to the eyes of God.

©John Birch

 


 

God of wholeness, God of Grace,
to you we bring our thanks and praise.
To a world that searches
you are a lamp that shines,
to a world that is hungry
you are food that sustains,
to a world that suffers
you are hope of release,
to a world that’s broken
you are one who restores,
to a world full of hate
you are love that forgives,
to a world that denies
you are truth that endures.
To you we bring our thanks and praise,
God of wholeness, God of Grace.

©John Birch

 


 

For boys and girls
whose childhood
has been stolen
in the cause of war,
prostitution,
slavery
and greed,
bring restoration,
healing,
family,
love.

 

©John Birch


 


Lord of heaven and earth,
of all nations and peoples,
all faiths and no faith,
reveal yourself
to those who are suffering,
reveal yourself
to all who are refugees,
reveal yourself
to those who are powerful,
reveal yourself
to all who are powerless,
reveal yourself
to ordinary people
in their everyday lives,
that this world
might reflect your love
and your glory.

 

©John Birch

 


 

Bless the hands
that bring wholeness
to lives blighted by sickness.

Bless the saints who
in sad and desperate places
bring a sense of hopefulness.

Bless the Christians
facing daily opposition
showing a faithful witness.

Bless the generosity
of the rich and powerful
for the gift of thoughtfulness.

Bless the peacemakers
working in conditions
that are often hazardous.

Bless the politicians
whether good or bad
for decisions affecting all of us.

Bless our words and actions
as we carry your light
into places shrouded in darkness.

Bless your children
whoever they might be
with the warmth of your love and grace.

 

©John Birch




By your Word were all things created,
By your Word were all things given,
That all might live in your garden,
Eat the fruit of the land,
Drink your living water,
Grow in strength and wisdom,
Husband and wife,
Brother and sister,
Mother and child.

A: God of Peace
B: Sow seeds of hope in barren lands

By your Word love was established
In the beauty of each created thing,
That all might look to the mountains
And in their majesty find you.
In fertile fields and valleys
Crops and flocks would be tended,
Vineyards planted,
Communities grown,
Laughter heard

A: God of Peace
B: Sow seeds of hope in barren lands

By your Word humankind was given
The gift of true freedom
Within the safety of your love,
And chose independence.

By man's word are established
Ruler and slave,
Rich and poor,
Full and starving,
Weak and strong.
By man's word are established
Corruption and abuse,
Oppression and torture,
Selfishness and greed.
Within your garden,
Watered by your tears

A: God of Peace
B: Sow seeds of hope in barren lands

 

©John Birch


 

 

We pray for lives lost,
families torn apart,
lost and lonely,
homeless,
hungry,
afraid.

We pray for factories
destroyed in an instant,
for machinery
shattered,
livelihoods
ruined.

We pray for rescuers
finding survivors
alongside bodies,
courageous,
undaunted,
hopeful.

We pray for recovery
in the years to come,
for restoration,
generosity,
healing,
closure.

©John Birch

 





I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

(Psalm 57:9,10 NIV)

 


 

 

For all whose image of your creation
is marred by pain and suffering
A: Your kingdom come
B: Your will be done

For those who wake each morning
to shellfire and destruction
A: Your kingdom come
B: Your will be done

For children dispossessed of childhood
and transformed into soldiers
A: Your kingdom come
B: Your will be done

For orphans wandering lonely roads
to uncertain futures
A: Your kingdom come
B: Your will be done

For each persecuted family
carrying your Cross
A: Your kingdom come
B: Your will be done

 

©John Birch


 

When oppression
cruelty and fear
are all that is known,
and suffering the daily experience.
When famine
hunger and thirst
greet every morning,
denying basic sustenance,
How easy to say
there is no God,
to turn aside
and label you an irrelevance,
You who are
living water,
bread of life,
the one who offers deliverance,
who suffered,
died and rose,
bringing hope
that there is more to life than this.
Bless all those
who in despair,
and dark places,
look to you for assurance.
Bring comfort,
peace, and where
there is neither,
bring to them abundance.

 

©John Birch


 

There is silence in heaven
as the prayers of your saints
rise like the sweet incense
of a sacrificial offering
into your presence
(based on Rev 8:1-4)

 

 


 

Breathe love into lives ruled by fear.
Soften hearts that are hardened by pride.
Whisper gently to those bound by chains.
Sow peace where conflict divides.

©John Birch


 

 

God bless
the persecuted,
and oppressed.
God bless
the refugee,
and dispossessed.

©John Birch


 

We pray
justice
for the falsely accused,
freedom
for the wrongly imprisoned,
healing
for the tortured or abused,
care
for the orphan and widow,
concern
for the refugee and dispossessed,
and above all
forgiveness,
for our emotional detachment.
May we weep as you weep,
love as you love,
and not be afraid to be angry
for the sake of your children,
wherever they might be.

 

©John Birch

 


 

Shine Lord into the shadows of this world,
and by the light of your people dispel the darkness,
that this world might glimpse your grace,
and seeing it might understand the difference.

©John Birch


 


We bring to you
the suicide bomber
strapping explosives to her chest
in Afghanistan,
and the reasoning
behind an act that seems
almost inhuman.
We bring to you
the politician
who rejects the rule of law,
for one of terror,
who clings to power
through the cruel persuasion
of torture.
We bring to you
influential people
with the opportunity to make
a difference,
and who fail
because of complicity
or weakness.

 

©John Birch


 

 

'God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.'

(Matthew 5:10 NLT)

 


 

Bless the hands
that bring wholeness
to lives blighted by sickness.
Bless the saints who
in sad and desperate places
bring a sense of hopefulness.
Bless the Christians
facing daily opposition,
showing a faithful witness.
Bless the generosity
of the rich and powerful,
for the gift of thoughtfulness.
Bless the peacemakers
working in conditions
that are often hazardous.
Bless the politicians
whether good or bad,
for their decisions affect all of us.
Bless our words and actions
as we carry your light
into places shrouded in darkness.
Bless your children,
whoever they might be,
with the warmth of your love and grace.

 

©John Birch


 

 

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.

(Lao-Tse - 6th Century BCE)

 


 

 

God of Love, God of Peace,
This fractured word
Cries out in pain,
Burns deep into my soul,
And challenges me,
To make a difference.

God of Love, God of Peace,
God of this world,
Scarred by grief and tears,
Ignorance and fear,
Soften hearts of stone,
And begin with mine.

God of Love, God of Peace,
Create within me
A heart for people,
A desire for change,
For new beginnings
To start this day.

©John Birch


 

'He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.'

(Micah 6:8 NIV)



 

For those involved in conflicts,
The innocent,
The guilty,
The injured,
Orphaned,
Widowed,
Dead,
Politician,s
Peacemakers,
Relief workers.
For those involved in conflicts,
Bring comfort,
Compassion,
Sustenance,
Repentance,
Forgiveness,
Healing ,
Tears,
Love,
And a peace that can endure.

 

©John Birch


 

If we had a fraction of the faith in you that you have in us
Then this world would be transformed, Lord.

If we showed a fraction of the love that you show to us
Then this world would be transformed, Lord

If we possessed a fraction of the patience that you display with us
Then this world would be transformed, Lord.

If we shared just a portion of the blessings that we have received from you
Then this world would be transformed, Lord.

If we showed as much trust in others as you have shown in us
Then this world would be transformed, Lord.

If we claimed just a fraction of the power you promised to your Church
Then this world would be transformed, Lord.

Transform us first, Lord, that we might transform this world
Through your love and your power.

 

©John Birch



'Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.'

(James 3:18 NIV)

 


 

Bless those who are peacemakers,
From all creeds and cultures,
All who bring no other agenda
Than to see neighbour and stranger
Live together as one community.
A: Bless the peacemakers
B:
Strengthen and bless them

Bless those who are comforters,
Shoulders to cry upon,
A willing ear to listen,
A present help in times
Of despair and hoplessness.
A: Bless the comforters
B:
Strengthen and bless them

Bless those who are healers,
Of physical injury
And deeper hurts,
Whose touch brings relief
From trauma and pain.
Who bring compassion.
A: Bless the healers
B:
Strengthen and bless them

 

©John Birch


 

For children of all nations
forced through disease or hardship
to become mature beyond their years
and provide for the needs of family,
bless and empower them
and bring healing and compassion
to those for whom they care.

©John Birch

 


 


This beautiful world
can be cruel,
destroying life
and livelihood
in an instant,
challenging our faith
in a God who cares.
This beautiful world
is yours, Lord,
created in love,
gifted by grace.
Help us
understand it ,
care for it ,
protect it,
and when disaster strikes
be there,
if not in person,
then in prayer.


©John Birch

 

Prayers for peace from other sources

 

The following two texts are taken from the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle on the Gulf region:

O God, who art the unsearchable abyss of peace,
the ineffable sea of love, the fountain of blessings
and the bestower of affection,
who sendest peace to those that receive it;

Open to us this day the sea of thy love
and water us with plenteous streams
from the riches of thy grace
and from the most sweet springs of thy kindness.

Make us children of quietness and heirs of peace,
enkindle in us the fire of thy love;
sow in us thy fear;
strengthen our weakness by thy power;
bind us closely to thee and to each other
in our firm and indissoluble bond of unity:

Syrian Clementine Liturgy (in: For all God’s people; p. 73)

 


Litany for Iraq

For lasting peace in this ancient land
From you, O Lord.
For wisdom and compassion for all in authority
From you, O Lord.
For comfort for families separated or bereaved
From you, O Lord.
For the release of captives
From you, O Lord.
For safety and security for minority communities.
From you, O Lord.
For refreshment for the weary and healing for the sick
From you, O Lord.
For continuing faithfulness of the ancient churches of this land
From you, O Lord.
For tenacity of spirit for small Christian groups
From you, O Lord.
For the mutual enrichment and support of those of different Christian traditions
From you, O Lord.

You, Lord of all, we confess;
You, Lord Jesus, we glorify;
For you are the life of our bodies
And you are the Saviour of our souls.


The response in the litany and this hymn both come from the Chaldean liturgy. The ancient hymn celebrates Christ the source of resurrection in all situations
of death and deprivation. (in: With All God’s People, p. 21, 22)

 

 

 

O bless this people, Lord,
who seek their own face under the mask and can hardly recognize it.
O bless this people that breaks its bond
And with them, all the peoples of Europe,
All the peoples of Asia,
All the peoples of America
Who sweat blood and sufferings.

And see, in the midst of these millions of waves,
The sea swell of the heads of my people.
And grant to their warm hands that they may clasp
The earth in a girdle of brotherly hands
Beneath the rainbow of thy peace.

By Leopold Sedar Senghor (a french poet and essayist, president of Senegal, west Africa in the 1960s)

 

 

 

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

(attributed to, but not by Saint Francis of Assisi)

 

 

The following prayer is a very challenging one for anyone faced with a very personal tragedy and needing to be 'at peace' with the person responsible

"This soul did little good to me, O Lord.
But this soul was Yours.
So to this soul I say:
I bless the day you were born,
I bless your growing up,
I bless you even in your dark deeds,
And I bless you, soul, at your end.
Travel to God, Who transforms,
Travel to the Arms so wide,
Travel to the Spirit all generous. Amen.
(Unknown author) 

found in "Praying in the Presence of Our Lord" For the Holy Souls, by Susan Tassone, published by Our Sunday Visitor 2001.)


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