Lament for the new year

By Mennonite Church USA staff

 

Creator God, in your mercy, you have made all things new and given us the power to live into the new creation that is in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). Yet, instead of trusting and seeking the renewal of our minds in Jesus who is our peace, we have begun the year trusting in chariots and horses again (Romans 12:2, Psalms 20:7).

As we see our nation retaliating and escalating tension with Iran, we denounce violence and war and pray for peace.

We pray for the spirit of mercy to slow us down to remember those who will be most impacted by war. May we not rush to actions that cannot be reversed.

We pray for political leaders to reason together and discern the ways that lead to equity and justice, that we may live as peaceably as possible with all.

We pray for courage to stand against simple narratives that justify war and recognize the image of God in the face of our enemies and those who we despise.

We pray for prophets in the U.S., in Iraq and in Iran. May our clamoring in the streets for peace and justice be heard in heaven and on earth.

We pray for the capacity to see that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

Deliver us, O God. Guide our feet in the way of peace.

And grant us the courage to sing,

“Though the nations rage from age to age, we remember who holds us fast: God’s mercy must deliver us from the conqueror’s crushing grasp. This saving word that our forebears heard is the promise which holds us bound, ‘Til the spear and rod can be crushed by God, who is turning the world around.””[1]

 


We encourage you to call Congress to say you do not want war and urge restraint on the part of the U.S. at 202-224-3121.


 

 

[1] “My Soul Cries Out,” #124 in Sing the Story: Hymnal Supplement.