The Faith and Progressive Policy initiative of the Center would like to invite readers to submit original, well-written prayers and meditations for possible publication on our Web site. Our goal is to provide helpful spiritual perspectives from a diverse range of religious and spiritual traditions. Please include a short bio and send submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org with "Prayer/Meditation Submission" in the subject field.
A child asked me why some live in peace while others live in fear. Why so much cruelty and bloodshed?
O God, listen to their questions and bestow unto those in military service our concerns for their safety. Shower them with prayers of love. May our many questions about war and peace be translated into concern that God watches over them. Bless them with courage and fortitude. May they be victorious and be a light in bringing harmony in a discordant world.
O God, hear the prayers of our Sons and Daughters. May bloodshed be washed away by the tears of compassionate souls. Bless the lives of those injured and those who have fallen. May all of us work towards a time when there will be an absence of war – when hatred and pain will be no more.
A time of Shalom, Salaam, Peace.
Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs is the Senior Rabbi of Kol Tikvah Temple in Woodland Hills, CA.
by Rev. Tom Davis
July 1, 2005
Redeemer of the enslaved,
Sustainer of all who yearn for peace and justice,
We gather in this season of national remembrance
to honor men and women who gave their lives
to resist tyranny and secure basic human rights.
On their shoulders we stand.
We praise you, O God, for steeling some to a prophet’s temper,
so that that they might overcome frightful adversaries.
We also praise you, O God, for your gentle Spirit
that has called others to love even their enemies,
swimming against sacrosanct currents of tribe and nation
to affirm that there is that of God in every one.
Steel us today, O God, to resist tyranny
wherever it may be found – within or without.
Humble us too, so that righteous indignation does not lead
to blind chauvinism.
Give us eyes to see ourselves as others see us,
but most importantly, as you see us.
We raise our voices in consternation and commiseration
for all those imperiled by war,
recognizing our own complicity in that paroxysm of rage.
For men and women under arms,
for civilians cowering under bombs and mortars,
for children caught in the crossfire, we wail in lamentation.
Forgive us, O Lord, for dancing again the ancient, frenzied, futile dance of war.
Help us to stop. Help us to stop.
Give us the will to beat swords into plowshares,
to break down dividing walls,
to give even to enemies food and drink.
By your indwelling Spirit, help us heal the war wounds to body, mind, and spirit.
May this begin today; may your promised peace begin with us. Amen.
Rev. Tom Davis is pastor of Hanover Street Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware, and a Vietnam Veteran.