Ted Grimsrud—Purpose vol. 44, no. 2 (February 2011), p. 28.
Midway through our worship service every Sunday, we focus ours spirits on what we call “prayers of the people.” If you want to understand what we mean by “peace,” pay attention to the “prayers of the people.” Here’s a sample:
For the new life welcomed into Mike and Rachel’s family with the birth of their son, Cole, for their expanding love, for our faith community’s nurturing of children, for this world we live in that it might be hospitable to Cole and to all other newborns—Lord, we offer you our prayers.
For this summer’s Interfaith Peace Camp, bringing together young people from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other faith traditions, that they may connect as friends, learn to value their own traditions and respect each others’, and grow in their commitments to and abilities to further your message of peace on earth—Lord, we offer you our prayers.
For the emergence of our city’s new food co-op, for all the efforts of people from our congregation and in the wider community to create this opportunity to enhance the physical, emotional, and economic health of local consumers and producers—Lord, we offer you our praise.
For the life of our friend Millie, which ended recently, and who blessed so many of us with her kindness, gentle spirit, and steadfast commitment to Jesus’ way of peace—Lord, we offer you our praise.
For the traumas, that seem so endless, to your creation, especially those so obviously caused by human irresponsibility, greed, and shortsightedness; for accountability for those directly at fault in the destruction; and for creativity and perseverance as we seek for healing responses and sustainable ways of living—Lord, we offer you our prayers.
For the words, spoken and written, articulated by gifted thinkers charged with the task of proclaiming the message of your healing initiatives toward humanity—Lord, we offer you our prayers.
For the work of our brother Dave and others in our city and way beyond who have been placed in roles of governmental responsibility and who seek to fulfill that responsibility in ways that further genuine social justice—Lord, we offer you our prayers.
For all those devoting time and energy to challenging myths about the effectiveness and necessity of violence—in relation to war and preparation for war, in relation to harshly punitive responses to wrongdoing, in relation to responses to personal conflicts—Lord, we offer you our prayers.