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& Action for Peace in
The Middle East and Elsewhere
by Jim McGinnis, inspired by
his new book
As we continue
to pray and act for peace around the globe this week, especially in the
Middle East, Afghanistan, and around health care and other justice issues in
our own country, please consider forwarding this weekly prayer & action
request to your networks.
Stories & Icons for Our Prayers
As we pray and act for comprehensive health care reform, focusing
prayerfully on our political leaders is helpful, including the 6 key US
Senators on the Senate Finance Committee who are working non-stop on how to
pay for this
Policy Carved Out at Table for 6."
As we pray for peace in Afghanistan, photos in
Veterans Find Afghan Enemy Even Bolder"
remind us to
pray for the families of those fighting and those victimized by this war.
The eyes of the Afghan villagers speak to us.
Along with the report from some Israeli soldiers about their conduct in Gaza
earlier this year comes a set of 19 photos of the victims of this war,
this one of a mother and child. All sides, including the US, bear
responsibility for this devastation in which most of the victims are
Prayer for Peace in the Middle East & Elsewhere
January 12, 2009, leaders of three faiths that trace their origins back to a
common ancestor -- the Patriarch Abraham -- joined their hearts and pens
today to form a common prayer for peace between Israel, Gaza and among all
nations. Rabbi Steve Gutow of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the
Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon of the National Council of Churches USA, and of
the Islamic Society of North America, acknowledged having "different views"
as to how to end the confrontation between Israel and Gaza, said they looked
"to the power that is greater than any of us can even contemplate" to ask
for peace in the Middle East. The three of us come from different religions
and have different views regarding how to best solve the problems faced in
the confrontation between Israel and Hamas. In many arenas we have found
ways to work together but not yet in this situation. We look to the power
that is greater than any of us can even contemplate and ask that power to
help us find peace among the nations. Here is our unified prayer:
Christian, Muslim and Jew Pray for Peace among Nations
Lover of humanity and all creation, we come to you because we trust in your
power and take comfort in your compassion. Our world is in chaos. Your
children suffer greatly - in Afghanistan and Darfur, in Burma, the Congo and
Sri Lanka; and the Middle East is a place of soul-wrenching strife. With no
end in sight and no reason for easy hope, You are the One to whom we
Strengthen us, Merciful God, to act and to know that our acting matters:
raising awareness at home of suffering in distant places, advocating for
peace instead of violence, bringing together those who have been estranged,
trying, ourselves, to see the world as others see it.
Fill us, we pray, with the vision of a time when children are not killed in
war, and in which the neighbor's wellbeing is a first priority. We have not
always agreed on decisions involving war and peace; but we do agree that You
are on the side of those who suffer, and that peacemaking is our ultimate
vocation. We pray in different ways and languages; but we each long to hear
your voice and to discern the way You wish us to travel.
Blessed are You, Holy One! May your will for peace prevail! Amen.
the original announcement of this prayer and the image of "peace, Shalom,
advocating for the changes identified by the
initiative convened by the World Council of Churches and from Rabbi Arthur
Waskow's Shalom Center
and supporting other groups working for peace in the Middle East like
the Christian Peacemaking Teams and the
American Friends of Neve Shalom &
Wahat al-Salam and their Oasis of Peace (a peace village in Israel for
Jewish and Arab Israelis). The Jewish Voice for Peace newsletter also
urges us to
call our members of Congress on behalf of human rights in Gaza.
Order a copy of
Praying for Peace Around the Globe
or call 1-800-833-0245.