A Prayer on Peace

peace-sign-stone-wall
Copyright: Craig Toocheck / Freeimages

Good and gracious God,

Life itself
is a struggle between
peace and violence.

In the wild
violence gives life to some
even as it takes it from others.

In relationships
violence shatters hopes,
destroying both people
in different ways.

Inside ourselves
violence wreaks havoc
as we tear ourselves down
in judgement,
low self-esteem,
self-doubt,
and
pity.

Yet,
in each of us,
it would seem
there is a seed of peace.
It calls out
not only to be recognized,
but to be nurtured
and grown.

As we see
the constant coverage
of what seems to be
endless violence
in our world,
help us hold on
to that seed.

As nations
go to war;
as political parties
lie, cheat and steal;
as religions
try to force their beliefs
on the world,
as our neighbors
lash out in
fear, confusion and anger;
as bullies
belittle, berate and bludgeon;
as our internal dialogue
depress and constrain us;
may our repulsion
turn us to the soil of our souls;
may we plant seeds
of reason, love and peace;
may we nurture them
with intelligence, kindness and understanding;
and may we seek to plant
these very seeds
in a world sorely in need.

Teach us to not buy into
the false notion
that resistance of violence
requires anger, aggression and animosity.

Remind us that peace
is the way
and not just the destination.

Remind us that we all
are both
victims
and practitioners
of violence
on some level.

Do not let our
desire and pursuit
of peace
turn others
into anything less
than people deserving
of loving-kindness.

Remind us that peace
is a constant pursuit
and it only grows
when we nurture it.
It requires
continual tending,
mindfulness
in every moment,
and a willingness
to see each person
as a reflection of you.

Amen.

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