21 October 2023

Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (146) 21 October 2023,
Week of Prayer for World Peace (7)

‘We pray for recovery in the years to come, for restoration, generosity, healing, closure’ (John Birch) … street art in Gort, Co Galway (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

We are in Ordinary Time in the Church Calendar, and tomorrow is the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity (Trinity XX, 22 October 2023).

Before today begins, I am taking some time for prayer and reflection early this morning.

The Week of Prayer for World Peace began last Sunday, and so my reflections each morning during these eight days are gathered around this theme in these ways:

1, A reflection on the Week of Prayer for World Peace ;

2, the Gospel reading of the day in the Church of England lectionary;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

The Week of Prayer for World Peace began with ‘A Call to Prayer for World Peace’ signed by faith leaders in 1974

A Week of Prayer for World Peace:

The International Prayer For Peace:

Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth
Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust
Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace
Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe

Day 7, Consequences: Remembering those impacted by all forms of violence:

Hiroshima Child

I come and stand at every door
but none can hear my silent tread.
I knock and yet remain unseen
for I am dead, for I am dead.

I’m only seven though I died
in Hiroshima long ago.
I’m seven now as I was then.
When children die they do not grow.

My hair was scorched by swirling flame,
my eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind.
Death came and turned my bones to dust
and that was scattered by the wind.

I need no fruit, I need no rice,
I need no sweets nor even bread,
I ask for nothing for myself,
for I am dead, for I am dead.

All that I need is that for peace
you fight today, you fight today,
so that the children of this world
can live and grow and laugh and play.
Nazim Hikmet, Turkish poet

We pray for lives lost, families torn apart, lost and
lonely, homeless, hungry, afraid.

We pray for factories destroyed in an instant, for
machinery shattered,
livelihoods ruined.

We pray for rescuers, finding survivors alongside
bodies, courageous,
undaunted, hopeful.

We pray for recovery in the years to come, for
restoration, generosity,
healing, closure.
John Birch, Welsh Methodist preacher

Victory creates hatred. Defeat creates suffering. The wise ones desire neither victory nor defeat … Anger creates anger … He who kills will be killed. He who wins will be defeated … Revenge can only be overcome by abandoning revenge … The wise seek neither victory nor defeat.
Words of The Buddha

‘All that I need is that for peace / you fight today’ (Hiroshima Child, Nazim Hikmet) … floating peace lanterns on Willen Lake on Hiroshima Day (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Luke 12: 8-12 (NRSVA):

[Jesus said:] 8 ‘And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; 9 but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.’

‘We pray for lives lost, families torn apart, lost and lonely, homeless, hungry, afraid’ (John Birch) … clothes for Ukrainian families in a refugee centre in Helsinki (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Today’s Prayers: USPG Prayer Diary:

The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), has been ‘Helpline to women in need.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday.

The USPG Prayer Diary today (21 October 2023) invites us to pray in these words:

We pray for a world in which all people are safe from violence and abuse.

The Collect:

O God, forasmuch as without you
we are not able to please you;
mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit
may in all things direct and rule our hearts;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Post Communion Prayer:

Holy and blessed God,
you have fed us with the body and blood of your Son
and filled us with your Holy Spirit:
may we honour you,
not only with our lips
but in lives dedicated to the service
of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Yesterday’s Reflection

Continued Tomorrow

The Week of Prayer for World Peace began on Sunday 15 October 2023

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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