Prayers In An Age of Terrorism

These prayers were originally written in 1946 for the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship¬†shortly after WWII. I’ve slightly adapted them for modern readers.

They are as timely and necessary now as they were then.

For peace of heart:

O God, who are the Author of peace and Lover of concord, in knowledge of whom stands our eternal life, in whose service is perfect freedom: Defend us from all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For courage:

Almighty God, give us grace to contend always for what is true and right, and to be ready if need be to suffer for it. Give us not over to fearfulness of soul, but lift us into that love which casts out fear, so that we may glorify and enjoy you now and forever; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For hope:

O God of hope, fill your children with all joy and peace in believing, that in this world of mystery we won’t be cast down nor dismayed, but may abound in hope in the power of the Holy Spirit. And grant that, laying hold of the hope set before us, it may be to us an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, entering into that which is within the veil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In a time of trouble:

O God, most faithful and wise Redeemer, who has permitted us to come into this present trial: Grant that we may learn obedience by the things that we suffer, and turn to You, our Helper in times of trouble. May there be no bitterness in our sorrow, no despair in our submission, and no doubt of You in our perplexity. Teach us to face our trial bravely; make even the dark things of life to work together for our good; and bring us quickly out of our distress, that we may praise you with a joyful heart; in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

For our enemies:

We pray, O Lord, as Christ has taught us, for our enemies, that their hearts and ours may be drawn to God the Father of all, and filled with a desire to serve Him, that peace may be reestablished on the foundation of justice, truth, and good will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For peace restored:

Almighty God, from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed: Kindle in the hearts of all people the true love of peace, and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth; that in tranquility your kingdom may go forward, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God, who has made of one blood all the nations and peoples of the earth: Mercifully hear our prayer, and remove from the world forever the dreadful menace of war. Guide the rulers with your counsel and restrain the passions of the people, so that bloodshed may be averted and peace be preserved. By the pouring out of your Spirit upon people, quicken the sense of our common bond of humanity, bring the nations into a new bond of fellowship, and hasten the time when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

For the coming of God’s kingdom:

Our King eternal, immortal, invisible, God only wise, our Savior: Hasten, we implore you, the coming of your kingdom upon the earth, and draw the whole world of humanity into willing obedience to your blessed reign. Overcome all the enemies of Christ, and bring low every power that is exalted against Him. Cast out all the evil things which cause wars and fightings among us, and let your spirit rule the hearts of all people in righteousness and love. Build our old wastes, and repair the desolations of many generations, that the wilderness may rejoice, and the city be made glad with your law. Establish every work that is founded on truth and equity, and fulfill all the hopes and desires of your people, through the victory of Christ our Lord. Amen.