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Japan


22 June 2022

Today in our prayers we remember the people of Japan. In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this sacred space where you are invited to “Become a people of the Temple—those who see violence but proclaim peace, who feel conflict yet extend the hand of reconciliation, who encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.”

—Doctrine and Covenants 161:2a

Japan is an island nation in East Asia, located in the Pacific Ocean. Japan features dense cities, palaces, mountains, and thousands of shrines and temples.

Scripture Reading—Jeremiah 31:31, 33b

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Prayer for Peace

Everett Graffeo

A tiny flame is light.

It seems so inconsequential.

It is so small over against the light of the sun.

But in the dark of a moonless night,

It is the glow of warmth, safety, and peace.

That is how we feel today, Lord.

Like a tiny flame of no consequence

In the brightness of your presence.

But amid the uncertainties and fragilities of life

A single soul or a tiny quorum of persons,

or petite community of faith

Can bring warmth, safety, and peace.

It is in such small enclaves that we learn

so much about how to live.

The simple but complex issues of living together in community

Are played out daily in our individual and corporate stories.

There are so many things we do not know,

Our questions persist, they are countless

like those of Seers and Prophets, past and present.

With Moses, we ask, “Why do the heavens weep?”

With Jesus, we ask, “Why hast thou forsaken me?”

We wonder at our blessings. Why us?

We flourish in our relationships and in our diversity,

yet fall short in our actions. Why?

We live with an awareness of the holiness

of the planet we walk upon but abuse it to its death.

We ask, “How does it happen?”

We cherish this place; it is our home;

We cherish each other; we are family;

Yet we forget. Why?

We say peace, peace, but there is no peace.

Devastating tornadoes destroy lives and property,

Earthquakes and tsunamis lay siege to peoples and nations,

Unrelenting wars and atrocities leave people alone, without home.

Our hope, our faith is like the tiny glow of the candle of peace,

We pray to become instruments of your peace,

But we fail to be an answer to our own prayers

Help us be the presence of your warmth,

your safety, and your peace.

Help us to care for each other,

Cherish each other,

Encourage each other,

Teach each other,

Forgive each other,

Lift each other up,

Bless each other,

Love each other,

Not for ourselves alone,

But all.

And when we do so, humbly, do it in the name of your Son, Jesus,

The Source, the Presence of our peace.

Amen.

Choose a hymn for reflection.

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 this day begin with ourselves and move outward, in rippling waves to those we know and love, to strangers and enemies, to the entire world, to all of creation. We begin by noticing our breathing. We breathe in spirit and exhale those things that separate us from you, O God. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Please enter into the silence with me as we pray for peace remembering God’s promise to be with us and to work in us. Listen for the sound of the beloved’s voice.

Pause.

God of creation, in the beginning your breath moved over the waters and brought calm and peace to a chaotic world. Breathe into my being this day; bring respite to my frenzied soul. Refresh my frayed sense of self and bring alive my hope for peace through words and actions inspired by your spirit. Breathe on me, breath of God.

Pause.

God of reconciliation, 2,000 years ago you breathed and the word became flesh among us, teaching us the way of forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and peace. Breathe into our relationships this day; allow us to enflesh the teachings of your Son within our family, friends, neighbors, and even our encounters with those we do not yet know. Breathe on us, breath of God.

Pause.

God of sacred community, your Holy Spirit seeks to blow through the discord, disruption, and disease of the world to bring healing and wholeness once again. We remember all nations, including Japan, the country we pray for today. Remind us that many of your children lack the basic needs of life, including freedom, space to grow, and love to support them. Breathe on your people, breath of God.

Pause.

God of all, your planet is gasping for breath, heaving under the pressure and weight of unbridled consumption of resources and greed-driven destruction of your world. The Earth groans from forces of chaos that destroy what we have been given as a gift for all creation. Awaken us to our responsibilities to heal and bring peace to our earthly home. Breathe once again over the waters, skies, land, and all that inhabit them, breath of God.

Pause.

May the awareness of our own breathing connect us to you, O God, and to all that lives because you create it, love it, and call it good. In and through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Musical Reflection

Sending Forth

Be blessed this day with frustration at injustice.

To motivate us to work for peace.

Go in peace.

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