Stop Violence [A Prayer]

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Good and gracious God,

We live in a world
that swirls with violence.

At times it seems
that every news show
and headline
start with a story
about hate, aggression
or some show of force.

It has become
the water we swim in.

It has become
all too familiar.

Even when we react
with disdain
to news of violence,
it comes from a place
that is far too numb
to the atrocity
of the loss
of life.

Violence
is far too “normal”
for us.

God of Life,
teach us to turn to
the great teachers
of this world,
those who
over and over again
called us
to turn from violence,
to turn from hatred,
to turn from aggression
and to take to
the far more difficult
but rewarding task
of loving –
even our enemies.

Each time we turn to love,
may we see more clearly
how the outcomes
create a better world.

As we practice being a reflection
of the people Jesus
called us to be,
may we recognize
that it is not
just some idealistic,
pie-in-the-sky vision
of how we should be
but that it is founded firmly
in the knowledge
of not only how the world works
but of what the world can be
and may we continue
to work toward
that time
when we care for each other
so much
that we each
are truly
cared for.

Amen.

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