Today, as I sat contemplating the possibility of (more) war in the Middle East, I realized something: I don’t pray nearly enough for peace. Sure the deacon recites this prayer every Sunday:
“Guide the people of this land, and of all nations, in the ways of justice and peace; that we may honor one another and serve the common good…Lord, in your mercy”
To which I heartily reply: “Hear our prayer.” But that is by and large the extent of my prayer life concerning peace. What’s more, I’ve never fasted for peace.
It occurred to me that there are thousands–maybe tens of thousands–of Christians out there who don’t believe that peace is possible or even beneficial, who believe that America’s wars are blessed by God, who believe that violence toward Muslims, gays and other perceived enemies is just fine, and who pray and fast on a regular basis. There are National Days of Prayer when God has to listen to (among better things) idolatrous, nationalistic prayers about how He needs to bless America and Israel and destroy China, Iran, and North Korea, and how the Holy Spirit needs to touch Obama’s heart and make him repeal the healthcare bill, and resign, and get “born again.”
But, when do I (we) pray that God fulfills the prophesy given in Isaiah 2:1-5? When do I (we) pray that God changes the hearts of human-beings–myself included–who harbor violence and hatred in their hearts toward fellow human-beings?
I may be an E-whisk-i-palian, and I even voted for George W. Obama (in answer to the billboard: “How can I miss George W. Bush, when we have one of his clones running the country right now!”) but, I still believe that God intervenes in human history. Don’t get me wrong, I also believe that we are God’s hands and feet, living Icons of Christ and representatives of His coming Kingdom. Right action must accompany prayer, but it is all too often the prayer part that gets left out in my life.
So, I propose that those of us in our little blog community who a) believe in peace and non-violence, and b) believe that God answers prayer start to assign some action to our beliefs. Maybe I’m the only one of you guys who isn’t, in which case, I need your guidance.
Shall we set aside one day a week to fast and pray for peace?
Shall we plan a week of fasting and prayer this summer?
How do you guys pray and fast for peace? I hope some of my peacenik friends will chime in here…
*PICTURE NOTE: I was looking for a cheesy prayer picture. I think I did pretty well. Gotta love lightning emanating from folded hands, accompanied by a dove and and open Bible. All that’s missing is an American flag and a M-16.