Prayer for Peace

I sit here in my quiet sacred space surrounded by icons that remind me of that which I treasure. We are on the eve of mid-term elections in the United States which once again are used to divide us further. Politicians and pundits clamor and there just isn’t much peace to be found. Thousands of miles away in the deserts of Mesopotamia young Americans are dying and killing. War profiteers are delighted. The devil if there is one would seem to be incarnate and yet we have the power to stop it all if we choose.

The following prayer comes from “Thomas Merton: Dialogues with Silence.”

Almighty and merciful God, Father of all, Creator and Ruler of the Universe, Lord of History Whose designs are inscrutable, Whose glory is without blemish, Whose compassion for our errors is inexhaustible,

in your will is our peace.

Mercifully hear this prayer which rises to You from the tumult and desperation of a world in which You are forgotten, in which Your name is not invoked, Your laws are derided, Your presence is ignored.

Because we do not know You, we have no peace.

Help us to be the masters of the weapons that threaten to master us. Help us to use our science for peace and plenty, not for war and destruction. Show us how to use nuclear power to bless our children’s children and not to blight them.

Resolve our inner contradictions that now grow beyond belief and beyond bearing. They are at once a torment and a blessing: for if you had not left us the light of conscience, we would not have to endure them. Teach us to be long-suffering in anguish and insecurity. Teach us to wait and trust. Grant light, grant strength and patience to all who work for peace.–(from a prayer read in the United States House of Representatives, Wednesday of Holy Week, April 12, 1962)

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