We held an online prayer meeting to mark the UN International Day of Peace 2021. The following prayer was offered by our partners in peacemaking, the Student Christian Movement:
We pray that the ideals of peace that underpin today will resonate with people the world over, so that peace is not something that is sought for only 24 hours, but is sought every day. We pray for a peace that does not just mean the absence of war, but the absence human insecurity and human suffering. We pray that as the world continues to heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we work together for the better of humankind and the environment, to ensure that the world recovers and becomes more resilient, more empathetic, more equal, more just and more sustainable.
We pray for those for whom a lack of peace has hinder the pandemic recovery and we stand with those who call for a global ceasefire, so that those living in conflict and insecure environments can know not only the security of being free from war, but will be able to access lifesaving vaccinations and treatments.
We pray for the peacemakers, those who work for peace and those who have the power to bring about peace.
We pray for those working with the marginalized, for those who seek justice for the oppressed.
We pray for those whose lives have been irreversibly changed by war but who now seek justice and reconciliation rather than revenge.
We pray for those who suffer torture, those who are denied their human rights, and for those who stand up to the oppressor despite the potential consequences
We pray for those whose lives are impacted by structural inequality – those who live in poverty, who go hungry, and for whom peace does not just mean the absence of war, but the meeting of basic human needs.
We pray for those working for the good of the planet, for those who recognise the amazing place that your world is and who are unafraid to speak up for nature and the environment
We pray for those working to deliver lifesaving treatment, both in conflict environments but also on the frontlines of the covid-19 pandemic and all other epidemics and illnesses, for those who would give their life in the services of saving others.
We pray for those of us who are here virtually together, we pray that we may work together for peace and that we recognise that even the smallest of actions can help to ease the suffering of others.
Lord, in your name, we bring these prayers to you.