Prayer of Desmond Tutu
Goodness is stronger than evil;
Love is stronger than hate;
Light is stronger than darkness;
Life is stronger than death;
Victory is ours through Him who loves us.
We thank you for giving us your peace.
Help us to spread peace at home and at school by loving and caring for one another.
Help us to spread peace by listening to one another, even when we don’t agree.
Help us to spread peace by sharing our time with those who are lonely and who need a friend. Help us to spread peace by thinking and praying for children who have no food or who are frightened and live in fear.
Let us pray every day for peace for our families, for our friends and for ourselves. Amen
Give me a heart of poverty, able to love and open up and give myself to others.
Give me a heart of patience, able to love and live in hope.
Give me a heart of peacefulness able to love and sow peace in the world.
Give me a heart of justice, able to love and measure myself by the standard of justice.
Give me a heart of mercifulness, able to love and understand and forgive others.
Give me a heart of sensitivity, able to love and weep without being discouraged.
Give me a heart of purity, able to love and see God in everyone.
Give me a heart of strength, able to love and be faithful unto death.
Give me a heart touched by the Gospel, able to love.
- World Council of Churches
Prayer for Peace—St. John Paul II
Lord Jesus Christ, who are called the Prince of Peace, who are Yourself our peace and reconciliation, who so often said, “Peace to you” – please grant us peace.
Make all men and women witnesses of truth, justice and brotherly love. Banish from their hearts whatever might endanger peace. Enlighten our rulers that they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace.
May all peoples on the earth become as brothers and sisters.
May longed-for peace blossom forth and reign always over us all. Amen.
Prayer for peace Pope Francis recited at his weekly general audience March 16, 2022
Composed by Archbishop Domenico Battaglia of Naples
Forgive us for the war, Lord.
Lord Jesus, son of God, have mercy on us sinners.
Lord Jesus, born under the bombs of Kyiv, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus, dead in the arms of a mother in Kharkiv, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus, in the 20-year-olds sent to the frontline, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus, who continues to see hands armed with weapons under the shadow of the cross, forgive us, Lord.
Forgive us if, not content with the nails with which we pierced your hand, we continue to drink from the blood of the dead torn apart by weapons.
Forgive us if these hands that you had created to protect have been turned into instruments of death.
Forgive us, Lord, if we continue to kill our brother. Forgive us, Lord, if we continue to kill our brother, if we continue like Cain to take the stones from our field to kill Abel.
Forgive us if we go out of our way to justify cruelty, if, in our pain, we legitimize the cruelty of our actions. Forgive us the war, Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, we implore you to stop the hand of Cain, enlighten our conscience, let not our will be done, do not abandon us to our own doing. Stop us, Lord, stop us, and when you have stopped the hand of Cain, take care of him also. He is our brother.
O Lord, stop the violence. Stop us, Lord.
Prayer for Peace—Pope Francis
Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!
We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried… But our efforts have been in vain.
Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: “Never again war!”; “With war everything is lost”. Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.
Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.
Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words “division”, “hatred” and “war” be banished from the heart of every man and woman. Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother”, and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace, Salaam!
A Prayer for Peace & Calm
May today there be peace within.
May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance.
It is there for each and every one of you.
- St. Teresa of Ávila
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me show love,
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console
Not so much to be understood as to understand
Not so much to be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
It is in dying that we awake to eternal life.
–unknown but attributed to St. Francis of Assisi For more on this prayer
Great God, who has told us
“Vengeance is mine,”
save us from ourselves,
save us from the vengeance in our hearts
and the acid in our souls.
Save us from our desire to hurt as we have been hurt,
to punish as we have been punished,
to terrorize as we have been terrorized.
Give us the strength it takes
to listen rather than to judge,
to trust rather than to fear,
to try again and again
to make peace even when peace eludes us.
We ask, O God, for the grace
to be our best selves.
We ask for the vision
to be builders of the human community
rather than its destroyers.
We ask for the humility as a people
to understand the fears and hopes of other peoples.
We ask for the love it takes
to bequeath to the children of the world to come
more than the failures of our own making.
We ask for the heart it takes
to care for all the peoples
of Afghanistan and Iraq, of Palestine and Israel
as well as for ourselves.
Give us the depth of soul, O God,
to constrain our might,
to resist the temptations of power
to refuse to attack the attackable,
that vengeance begets violence,
and to bring peace–not war–wherever we go.
For You, O God, have been merciful to us.
For You, O God, have been patient with us.
For You, O God, have been gracious to us.
And so may we be merciful
with these others whom you also love.
This we ask through Jesus,
the one without vengeance in his heart.
This we ask forever and ever. Amen
- Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Sister of Erie
Lord, we pray for the power to be gentle;
the strength to be forgiving;
the patience to be understanding;
and the endurance to accept the consequences
of holding to what we believe to be right.
May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil
and the power of love to overcome hatred.
We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe
in a world emancipated from violence,
a new world where fear shall no longer lead men to commit injustice,
nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.
Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy
to the task of making peace,
praying always for the inspiration and the power
to fulfill the destiny for which we were created.
- Prayer for World Peace, 1978.
Loving God, you inspire us with love for all persons
and concern for the well-being of all creation.
Give us today the strength and courage
to transform the compassion of our hearts
into acts of peace, mercy, and justice.
Forgive us for the arrogance that leads to moral blindness,
for desires for vengeance and retaliation,
and for willingness to sacrifice others for our own security and avarice.
Help us to renounce all forms of violence:
prejudice, unfair allegations, intolerance, and injury.
Give us the courage to resist threatening postures,
calls to arms, mobilization of troops and weapons, and
all actions that threaten the lives and livelihoods of innocent people.
Empower us to live out the caring presence
of the merciful and generous persons we claim to be.
Make us channels of your peace, bearers of healing,
women and men who hear and respond with alacrity
to pleas for justice in our world.
We ask all this in the name of Jesus
who came among us to show us the way.
- from the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
God of justice and peace, love and life,
we confess that we are often overcome by the loud and persistent voices of fear and anger.
We do not hear the voice of Jesus, which seems but a whisper.
“Kill those whom you fear may kill you.
The strong shall inherit the earth and the rich shall forever rule the earth.”
Yet Jesus says,
“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”
“Those who live by the sword shall not only live, but flourish. Might makes right.”
But Jesus says,
“Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword shall die by the sword.”
Fear instructs us,
“Forgive no one. Those who wrong you are wrong; by forgiving them,
you excuse the wrong and only encourage them.”
Yet Jesus warns us,
“If you do not forgive people their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
“Hate those who hate you; loving those who hate you
only encourages them to take further advantage of you.”
But Jesus asks,
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.”
Fear shouts out,
“Show everyone how strong we are so they will be afraid to challenge us.
This is the way to prosper.”
Yet Jesus asks,
“What does it prosper people to gain the whole world and lose their life?”
The voices of anger and fear seem so strong,
the wisdom so alluring, the way so sensible and safe.
Still Jesus tells us that there is another way—
the way of peace and justice, the way of love and life.
When we lack the courage to seek your way, O God,
when fear and anger overwhelm our faith,
encourage and embolden us.
Open us, O God, that we may follow the Prince of Peace.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen
- from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program
Visio Divina for a time of Conflict: Rembrandt’s Storm at Sea
- What do you see?
- What feelings does the piece evoke in you?
- Read the Gospel passage: Mark 4: 35-41
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’
4. With which characters do you most identify?
5. You are in the boat with Jesus. What do you want to say to him? What do you think he will say to you? What comfort do you get from realizing that you are in the boat with Jesus? [For more background and guiding questions see Soul Shepherding]
6. Contemplate the image while listening to Be Still by David Kauffman:
7. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for any insights you may have gleaned in this Visio Divina.
8. How will this visio divina help you in dealing with the present situation?