Today in our prayers we remember the people of Nauru.
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this sacred space where we are called to, “above all else, strive to be faithful to Christ’s vision of the peaceable Kingdom of God on earth. Courageously challenge cultural, political, and religious trends that are contrary to the reconciling and restoring purposes of God. Pursue peace.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 163:3b
Nauru [nau·roo] is in Micronesia, northeast of Australia.
Scripture Reading—Luke 23:33-43/23:34-44
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”] And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35 And the people stood by watching, but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Prayer for Peace
Jesus said we should pray “forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We sing “forgive our sins as we forgive” and it makes us nervous. We are often judgmental and unforgiving of others that there is little peace in getting what we deserve. But your grace is greater than we can understand. You forgive not according to what we deserve but according to the greatness of your love. In that gift is the peace of Jesus which we seek and in which we have abundant life.
Strengthen us to love and accept ourselves so we can love and accept others. Reassure us that each one is a beloved child, a human being called by your love into the peace of Jesus. Challenge us to pursue peace at every level of life—beginning within our own hearts and extending throughout the world. Guide us to meet this challenge as we serve the One in whose name we pray. Amen.
Choose a favorite hymn of peace and justice.
Prayers of the People
As we enter a time of guided prayer, meditation, and musical reflection, you are invited to offer silent prayers or meditate during the moments of quiet. The Prayers of the People begin with individuals and groups, then move out from this Temple of peace to include the human family and the planet.
Within all aspects of our lives and our world exist situations and conditions that need the healing touch of the Holy. Will you join with me to listen to the voice that speaks peace to each of us from beyond the farthest hills, from the infinite heavens above, and the vast seas below?
Listen to the voice that invites you to surrender your fears and frustrations, anger, and anxieties, and to await with an open heart the peace that only Christ can bring. Allow the one who seeks only the best for you to offer the comfort you seek.
Listen to the voice that whispers the invitation to reconciliation with those whose lives, words, decisions, or actions have wounded you. May you find space in your heart for healing to occur in your relationships with brothers and sisters, as well as your enemies.
Listen to the voice that calls all into unity and oneness. We remember all nations, including Nauru, the country we pray for today. May we be attuned to hear the cries for mercy, forgiveness and generosity. Listen to the one who reminds us that in the welfare of another resides our own well-being.
Listen to the voice that echoes across the eons of time and yet speaks anew in this moment. The Earth shudders in distress because creation’s natural and living systems are becoming exhausted from carrying the burden of our greed and conflicts. Listen to creation which struggles to provide life to the seas, the hills, and the heavens above.
May the one who spoke calm to the storm and stilled the waves with a word, bring peace to us and through us. May we be among those whose lives whisper, shout, and proclaim peace to those far and near for the sake of God’s shalom. Amen.
Be witnesses of hope,
Shed tears for injustice, and
Make a difference in the world.
Go in peace.