Holy, loving God,
The beauty of this day takes our breath away,
The glory of all you have created
Awakens our senses,
Excites our joy,
Motivates us to compassion,
And inspires our greatest artistic expressions.
Thank you for the changes of seasons
which remind us of your continual, unfailing goodness.
Your world, though magnificent and stunningly beautiful, is fraught
with war, tension, anxiety, intolerance, self-centeredness, egotism,
bigotry, and even downright hatred. This, too, takes our breath away.
as a nation,
and global citizens, we ask your forgiveness for the
ways we have treated and spoken about our neighbors,
the ways we have discounted other fellow human beings
as if they were not also made in Your image.
We have positioned ourselves as entitled over others,
We have failed to welcome the stranger,
And have shunned the suffering emigrant,
We have failed to embrace
the common humanity of those around us.
We pray especially for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine this day,
that somehow, some way, you would overcome
the powers of darkness on their behalf.
We pray for the citizens of Russia
who vehemently oppose war and bloodshed,
that you would grant them wisdom, courage and strength.
And yes, Loving Lord, we pray for those who propagate and unleash
terror and needless, mindless, unconscionable violence on their
neighbors. As you have taught us to love and pray for our enemies,
we intercede and plead for them, as well.
And finally, we pray for ourselves,
that you would finally, at long last,
make us true instruments of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love.
May your grace and forgiveness flood our lives
even as the sunshine washes over us on this beautiful morning.
May the love we receive from you
be the exact love we give away to others.
May the fellowship we share this day hearken forward to the day when
all of Your children will live with you in heaven,
and in eternal peace.
We pray these things in the name of the one who taught us to pray.