Pastoral Prayer for Mother's Day following Military Action of May 1, 2011
God of Creation, we creatures of yours pause in your presence this day, mindful of your sovereign grace over all things. We, your people, so weary of war, heartsick by its cost in human life, and exhausted by its consuming toll on the treasure of nations, truly experience in our own generation the fullest consequences of a fallen creation. We confess to you our utter sense of helplessness in the face of things beyond our control and commend to you the safety and security of our shattered world.
God of life, we followers of your Son, Jesus, take no joy in the death of another, even the death of an enemy. Yet we find in the wake of recent events our spirits relieved by a mission accomplished and our hearts longing ever still for the end of battle and the triumph of your justice in our world. May military actions of recent days bring forth their intended purpose and bring us closer to peaceful resolution of conflict and end to war.
God of love, keep safe all who love freedom and those who defend it from the threat of hatred and terror. May the blessed memory of lives lost bring comfort to the bereaved and inspire a spirit of reconciliation and peace in the midst of this long struggle. Save us, we pray, from vengeance in the service of your justice, from revenge in reaction to violence, and from hatred that blinds the spirit and pollutes the heart. Confirm in us the divine authority of our Lord's sacrifice upon the cross in the face of brutality. Instill in us confident faith in the transforming power of His resurrection in the face of death. Bring forth among us the dominion of His love throughout your creation.
God of peace, who like a mother hen gathers all her children under the shadow of her wings, we strive to teach our children to follow our Lord Jesus in our world. Protect them from exposure to the images and stories of war so prevalent in our day that they may truly learn the ways of your peace. On this day we celebrate the gift of the Christian home, give wisdom to mothers of all nations so to guide the next generation in your way of love that the promise of the Scripture may be fulfilled -- when they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks and neither shall they learn war anymore.
In the name of the Prince of Peace, we pray. Amen.