Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches and a Disciples of Christ Theologian, offers a prayer for Gaza and the world. It is a prayer for peace and a realization we have a part to play in this. May we pray this prayer with him.
God of all creation, you who are so bound to humankind that you feel the joys that complete us and the sorrows that rend us; God of Abraham, you who have made covenant with our ancestors and called us to be special instruments of your peace; we come to you in pain.
You have commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves; yet throughout our world we see horrifying examples of our failure to love as you command.
In the land made holy by the prophets and the birth of Christ, an insane cycle of rocket attacks and air bombardment has left hundreds of your children dead and wounded. Murderous conflict continues in Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, and Sri Lanka. A recent act of terrorism threatens the peace between India and Pakistan. Animosity lingers between Georgians and Russians. Thousands of persons who bear your image face starvation and violence in Congo, Myanmar, Somalia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, often because power-hungry leaders have put themselves above your law.
God of peace and justice, we come to you in pain and contrition. Forgive us for how we turn away from the suffering of others. Help us to face their agony so that you might use us as instruments of your peace. We know, in the words of the psalmist, that you are the one who can make war cease to the ends of the earth, breaking the bow and shattering the spear; but we also know that you have called us to participate in this holy mission. May this new year be the time when your name will be exalted among the nations, and when we will come to love others as we have been loved by you.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.