He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:4, NIV)
He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Micah 4:3, NIV)
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matthew 5:43-44, NIV)
Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (John 18:11)
For 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)
I thank God for the divine love and compassion for each and every human being, which is a model for us.
I thank Jesus Christ for modeling a life of care and sacrifice, and showing us another way than the world’s way of exercising power over one another. I thank Jesus for telling us to love our enemies and put away the sword.
I thank Pope Francis for calling for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria. I thank all those religious leaders of various faiths who have joined in this call, and all the faithful who are setting aside time for prayer for peace.
I pray for the people of Syria that there be an end to weapons taking their lives, injuring them and forcing them into refugee status.
I pray for Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad, others in the Syrian government, and the leaders of all the non-state armed elements in Syria that their hearts be transformed and that they put away all weapons of war, and seek a solution which will provide a democratic government which will focus on the needs and rights of all the people of Syria.
I pray for Syrian Christians that they might find hope and strength in the peace and power of Jesus Christ, that they may be free of repression, and that they may find ways to build peace and restore the nation.
I pray for those in Syria who seek to uphold nonviolent action as a way forward that they will not give up hope, and that they may see their efforts increasingly appreciated and supported.
I pray that the leaders of key countries involved, and of the United Nations, will cease providing weapons to all forces in Syria, and will join together to support a Syria where all of its people can live in peace and freedom, with the rights of all respected.
I pray for President Obama, Administration foreign and military policy officials, officials of the Democratic and Republican Parties, and the United States Congress that they might search for peaceful ways forward and not inflict yet more violence on war-torn Syria. I pray they will seek a more humble and cooperative role for our country in the world. I pray they will open their hearts to provide generously for humanitarian aid to Syrian refuges and victims, and welcome Syrian refugees to our great country.
I pray for those serving in the armed forces of our country that they will turn from the ways of violence, and seek ways to use their commitment, courage and desire to serve to foster a world of peace, where all may have the food, water, shelter and medical care they need.
I pray for the leaders of companies which produce weapons of war and support the military infrastructure of our country that they might seek ways to transform their businesses to ones which produce products and services to meet human needs. I pray that all employed by such companies may search their hearts for ways to earn a living which foster peace, care for creation and provide for human needs.
Lord, I pray that the seeds of war in my own heart be transformed through your love, and that I may be an instrument of your peace.
-Bill Samuel, September 7, 2013