Today in our prayers we remember the people of Bangladesh. 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
Bangladesh is in South Asia and situated at the apex of the Bay of Bengal.
Scripture Reading—Luke 9:51-62
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to prepare for his arrival, but they did not receive him because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” And Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Prayer for Peace
Creator, God of Seeing, God of love, God of peace,
Renew that spark of love you planted within us Lord; the ember which will help us seek wholeness for our neighbors and our world, rather than the fragmentation we have built upon our differences.
Remind us, God of love, of our common traits—of those characteristics we all share—of those qualities which form our common humanity. When we are faced with an evil so terrible that we cannot understand it, remind us that we were not created out of your hatred, but as an act of your love. Remind us God that just as we have evolved as humans, so too has our ability to hate. But remind us from time to time, that just as hatred has grown so too can love grow.
God, it is so hard at times, to fan that spark of compassion for others that you planted within us. This is especially true when we witness extreme violence. We are so quick to build walls of self-preservation around us and to seek vengeance, rather than justice—so very quick. But God, what I ask today is that you comfort those who have suffered and continue to suffer.
I ask that you help us to pause and reflect, rather than to lash out at innocents as we seek to punish the guilty. Help us to remove the clutter in our lives and to listen for your voice, as we wrestle with this unsettling violence, God. Call to our minds, Creator, that you designed us to be in relationships of “I” and “thou”; your relationship with all beings is never merely “I” and “it.” To you, we are all part of your sacred creation.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the one whom we call the Prince of Peace.
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 then, enlarging life’s circle, move outward to include those we know and love, to strangers and enemies, to the entire world, and to all of creation.
Will you pause for the next few moments in the quiet of this sanctuary, away from the worries of the world, to silently add your own thoughts and prayers to the prayers of the people?
God of all time and space, I stand waiting for your peace to enter my broken and chaotic soul, just as you wait for me to pause long enough to breathe and simply be. May your peace fill the space that I now create with my breath and my being. Hear my often-impatient cry, “Be with me, O Prince of Peace, and make me whole.”
Source of our being, we stand waiting for your peace to enter our broken and chaotic relationships, just as you wait for us to pause long enough to invite you in. May your reconciling presence bring us to a point of apology and forgiveness, of offering and receiving, and unity. Hear our impatient cry, “Be with us, O Prince of Peace, and make us one.”
Lord of all Earth’s people, the world stands waiting for your peace to calm the warring nations, to stem the tide of violence we inflict against one another, just as you wait for us to stop the madness long enough to see one another as family. We remember all nations, including Bangladesh, the country we pray for today. May your profound compassion for your children flow within us. Enable us to surrender our hatred and fear and be filled instead with your loving kindness and mercy. Hear our often-impatient cry, “Be with our human family, O Prince of Peace, and make us one.”
Creator of all, your creation stands waiting for your healing touch to restore all living things to oneness and wholeness, just as you wait for us to revere what you have given us as a sacred gift. May your generous offering of water, earth, air, and all that has life remind us of our physical and spiritual connection with everything that was, is, and will be. Help us honor our call as stewards of the Earth. Hear our impatient cry, “Be with our Earth, O Prince of Peace. Make all things one.”
We ask for this blessing of your peace in and through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Make every breath one of thanksgiving;
Make every deed a channel of justice;
Make every thought a peaceful one;
Go in peace.