22 October 2022

Praying for World Peace and with USPG:
Saturday 22 October 2022

A prayer for peace in the Chapel of John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford … the Week of Prayer for World Peace invites prayers today on the theme of ‘Humanitarian Response’ (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Before today gets busy, I am taking some time this morning for reading, prayer and reflection.

This year, the Week of Prayer for World Peace is from 16 to 23 October. In my prayer diary from last Sunday until tomorrow, I am reflecting in these ways:

1, One of the readings for the morning;

2, A reflection from the programme for the Week of Prayer for World Peace (16 to 23 October);

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary, ‘Pray with the World Church.’

‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard’ (Luke 13: 6) … a fruiting fig tree near the ruins of Saint Mary Magdalene Church, Stony Stratford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Luke 13: 1-9 (NRSVA):

1 At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 He asked them, ‘Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. 4 Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them – do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.’

6 Then he told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 So he said to the gardener, “See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?” 8 He replied, “Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig round it and put manure on it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down”.’

The Week of Prayer for World Peace takes place this year from Sunday 16 October 2022 to Sunday 23 October 2022

Week of Prayer for World Peace 2022, Day 7:

The week of Prayer for World Peace takes place from the second to third Sunday in October each year, which this year is from last Sunday (Sunday 16 October 2022) to tomorrow (Sunday 23 October 2022).

The Week of Prayer for World Peace is supported by a wide range of organisations, many of which I have engaged with over the years, including the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, Christian CND, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, and Quaker Peace and Social Witness.

Day 7: Humanitarian Response:

We give thanks and pray for all those individuals and agencies that work to alleviate the sufferings of war.

‘May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freed from their illnesses.
‘May those frightened cease to be afraid, and may those bound be free.
‘May the powerless find power, and may people think of befriending one another.
‘May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wildernesses – the children, the aged, the unprotected – be guarded by beneficent celestials, and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.’
– Unknown Buddhist saying

‘Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.
Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech.
Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness, and a home to the stranger.

‘Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. ‘Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart, and a fruit upon the tree of humility.’
– Baha’u’llah’s words, Bahá’í faith

‘Allah, Most Merciful, Most Generous, please give us the patience to continue to learn from one another and work towards a more peaceful and kind world.
‘Make true in our nation the ideas of freedom and justice and brotherhood for all those who live for them.
‘Make our hearts generous so that we may treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves.
‘Help us to share that which we have with others, for your sake.
‘Strengthen us, love us and be kind to us all.’
– Adapted for a Muslim prayer for the nation

Prayers for Peace in Coventry Cathedral … the Week of Prayer for World Peace invites prayers today on the theme of ‘Humanitarian Response’ (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2021)

Today’s Prayer (Saturday 22 October 2022):

The Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
increase in us your gift of faith
that, forsaking what lies behind
and reaching out to that which is before,
we may run the way of your commandments
and win the crown of everlasting joy;
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:

We praise and thank you, O Christ, for this sacred feast:
for here we receive you,
here the memory of your passion is renewed,
here our minds are filled with grace,
and here a pledge of future glory is given,
when we shall feast at that table where you reign
with all your saints for ever.

The theme in the USPG Prayer Diary this week has been ‘World Food Day.’ This theme was introduced last Sunday.

The USPG Prayer Diary invites us to pray today in these words:

We give thanks for schools which offer free and healthy food to children who would otherwise go hungry. May we support them in their service to the local community.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

‘May those frightened cease to be afraid, and may those bound be free’ (Unknown Buddhist saying) … Buddhist monks taking part in the Lichfield Peace Walk along Cross in Hand Lane (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

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

1,000 peace cranes, a gift from the children of Hiroshima, in the Chapel of Unity, Coventry Cathedral … a reminder that we need to work to abolish all nuclear weapons (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2021)

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