Today in our prayers we remember the people of Syria.
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this time of prayer. The Temple which is “dedicated to the pursuit of peace. …[and which] shall be for reconciliation and for healing of the spirit.” “You are called to create pathways in the world for peace in Christ.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 156:5a; 163:3a
Syria is in Western Asia. Its capital Damascus is among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
Scripture Reading—Mark 12:28-31 NRSV
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Prayer for Peace
Hello Lord...it's me.
Something happened today and I need to share it with you.
I was telling s friend about enriched living. That by enriching our lives daily we can achieve peace, love, and joy. I said that it is truly what God wants for us.
My friend asked me, “What is enriched living?”
I responded, “It’s when you take your life situations good or bad, and see the wisdom you can gain from it, and how your situation can connect you to others, and that if you realize you are not alone you in your situation, and that if you offer thanks for your situation then it becomes something to reflect upon and you become richer because of it.”
Then I said, “It's God.”
“It's God?” was her shocked response. “What’s God got to do with my peace, love, or joy?”
Well, that got me thinking...and fast!
Lord, we can proclaim your name, call you most high, all those things that I know you are because I have a relationship with you. But what about those who don’t know you? How do I explain God and who and what God is?
I tried to explain to my friend that knowing God is kind of the same as trying to explain why they love someone. You can put all kinds of words together and say “That’s why I love God” but I suppose until you live in God’s Wisdom, or feel accepted despite differences, offered forgiveness or validated as an equal or feeling appreciated or grateful, how can anyone understand “Who or what God is?”
Well Lord, I searched my heart and decided to be “Who or what God is.”
So, I took my friend's hand in mine, looked into her eyes, and said “I accept you as you are, I believe in you, you are good, loving, and kind. If you feel broken, I will be there to help put the pieces of your life back together. If you cry, I will offer you a flower to make you smile. If you are hungry, I will water a plant and pick the fruit from it and feed you. When you are happy, I will make the sunshine even brighter. When you need a friend, I will be there and bring my friends with me and we can talk together. And if you can't find words, I will wait quietly ready to listen to you again and again. But most of all, when it’s love you need then picture you with me.”
My friend began to cry and I hugged her and whispered in her ear... “What you feel right now Erin...that is what God is, that is who God is.”
Thank you, Lord, for offering me an enriched life and placing your powerful positive energy into me, so I can share with others what and who you are.
I ask that your blessed presence be felt by those who have yet to take the chance to understand your powerful and positive energy.
May peace, love, and joy be known by all. In Jesus's name, I 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 Syria, 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 that 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.