October 11, 2023
With the outbreak of war in the past days, we carry deep sadness, fear, and overwhelming concern for our siblings in Israel and Palestine.
Our hearts break when we realize that so many are holding deep sorrow as they learn of the loss of loved ones and as they fear for family or friends directly impacted. We live in deep worry brought on by the unraveling of unending war.
In this time I invite you to pause and pray with me, using the words of this prayer shared by the Presbytery of Chicago, our collective body of Presbyterian Christians.
“Holy God of All Creation, hear the cries of your people. The world is reeling and our hearts are breaking at the death, suffering, and violence that is happening in Israel and Palestine. We call upon you, who took the form of the Prince of Peace, to pour your healing power into the region. Sustain us all with the courage, wisdom, and comfort of your Holy Spirit.
“Bring a quick end to the violence. Be a source of healing for those who are wounded. Comfort those who are grieving the loss of loved ones. Bring restraint to those who would escalate and continue the violence, even as you pour wisdom and courage into the lives of those working to end this conflict.
“Give us strength to remain aware and not look away. Heal human division to one day make way for a divine vision of lasting peace. Let us be your hands, heart, and feet, extending friendship and compassion to our neighbors here in Chicago and across the globe who are impacted most personally by this heartbreaking tragedy. Strengthen our resolve to support those who are traumatized by this conflict.
“Prince of Peace, come quickly. We know that every human being is created in your image, and we grieve each and every death, each and every injury, each and every experience of trauma and tragedy. Come quickly, God of All Creation. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”
—“Prayer for Peace” written by the Presbytery of Chicago’s Ecumenical and Interreligious Workgroup
At times like this, many of us yearn to find ways to put our prayers into action.
For those who have requested a way to do so, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is receiving contributions to enable them to provide humanitarian assistance in the region through partners on the ground. These response efforts will encompass a wide array of vital humanitarian interventions, including delivering crucial psychosocial support to individuals wrestling with the emotional aftermath of the warfare.
Gifts to PDA in support of their Israel/Palestine response can be given directly to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
We are grateful for the reach of hearts, hands, and God’s tender love to those far from us as we continue to pray “Prince of Peace, come quickly.”
Senior Associate Pastor and Acting Head of Staff