Today in our prayers we remember the people of Kenya.
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this service of peace. “The rise of Zion the beautiful, the peaceful reign of Christ, awaits your wholehearted response to the call to make and steadfastly hold to God’s covenant of peace in Jesus Christ.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 164:9b
Kenya is located in East Africa with territory on the equator. Kenya’s diverse and expansive terrain includes beautiful lakes, tropical coastlines, savannahs, deserts, forests, and mountains. Kenya is known for its safaris, national parks, and Lake Victoria—the largest tropical fresh-water lake in the world.
Scripture Reading—Romans 8:22-27 NRSV
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope, we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Prayer for Peace
Help us to sense more fully your presence, your love, and your power, so that you may become even more relevant and meaningful in our daily lives. Strengthen our desire to share with others the knowledge we have of you. Our faith in Jesus has come to mean so much to us and we trust that we shall never lose that faith—a faith that gives an added dimension to our everyday living. May we continue to seek to strengthen our faith so that we can more earnestly endeavor to meet some of the challenges that arise from day to day—challenges that at times seem to be so demanding on our time and energy.
Lord, if we seem at times to be going in the wrong direction in some of our endeavors, please help us to find our way back again onto the right path. As we struggle with moments of doubt and perhaps, at times, with despair, help us to realize anew, and perhaps more fully, the blessings that are ours and what you have done in and with and through our lives. We know your forgiveness is a gift that we receive but do not earn. As we become even more aware of this, may we become more willing to let the spirit of love and repentance become more active in our lives.
May we continue to pray for our friends and neighbors and not forget to offer prayerful support for those we know who are faced with real and demanding problems and who are seeking and searching for a real measure of peace in their lives. 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 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.
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.
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.
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 Kenya, 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.
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.
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.
Be blessed this day with frustration at injustice.
To motivate us to work for peace.
Go in peace.