Greetings in the name of our God of Justice and Peace!
Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
17 The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. 18 My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. Isaiah 32:16-17
The prophet Isaiah speaks of a time when justice, righteousness and peace will fill the land. As human beings we all long for justice and righteousness and for a home and secure dwelling place where we can live in peace. The sad truth is that this is not the reality for our sisters and brothers in so many places in the world, most notably right now in Gaza and Jerusalem.
In 2017 Esther Epp-Tiessen wrote a prayer for Mennonite Central Committee’s Peace Packet. This prayer (with a few same adaptations) continues to be so needed today.
O God of life and love and peace, we witness the violence and injustice in your Holy Land
And our hearts break.
Our hearts break for all Palestinians— for the victims of violent attacks from Israelis;
For those who have endured decades of occupation and oppression
For those whose homes, streets and neighbourhoods have been destroyed.
For those without nearly enough water and electricity and medical care.
For those who are refugees, long displaced from their homes.
For those who fear that they will soon be refugees.
Our hearts break for the Jewish people of Israel—
For the victims of violent attacks from Palestinians.
For those who live with fear and insecurity.
For those who re-live the trauma of the Holocaust over and over.
Our hearts break for the wider world—
For those who are indifferent to the pain, suffering and injustice in your Holy Land.
For those who distort or turn their eyes from truth.
For those who fail to see the humanity of all your children.
Heal us all, O God. Heal the broken and comfort the sorrowful.
Give hope to the hopeless and courage to the fearful.
Strengthen the peacemakers and reconcilers.
Confront those who practice injustice and commit violence.
We especially pray— that weapons of war be laid down.
That walls of separation and the machinery of occupation be dismantled.
That prisoners be released.
That demonizing of “the other” will cease.
That political leaders would seek the good of all people in Palestine and Israel.
We pray also for ourselves—
That our eyes will be opened to the ways in which our beliefs and actions have contributed to injustice and to violence.
That we will commit to prophetic actions that will lead to a just peace for those oppressed.
O God, whose heart breaks for the world, may your justice dwell in the land, may your righteousness abide in fruitful fields, may the effect of righteousness be quietness and trust forever, may all abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. May the effect of justice be peace – enduring peace.