A collection of Prayers for Peace - 2004

The following collection of prayers for the International Day of Prayer for Peace comes from a variety of denominations and countries. We encourage you to use them freely, taking note of the copyright information when given. Please cite the World Council of Churches if no other source is provided.

Litany for Peace

One: From words and deeds that provoke discord, prejudice and hatred,
All: O God, deliver us.

One: From suspicions and fears that stand in the way of reconciliation,
All: O God, deliver us.

One: From believing and speaking lies about other peoples or nations,
All: O God, deliver us.

One: From cruel indifference to the cries of the hungry and homeless,
All: O God, deliver us.

One: From all that prevents us from fulfilling your promise of peace,
All: O God, deliver us.

One: Deliver us from our brokenness, we pray, O God,
All: and by your grace and healing presence deliver us to You…

One: To still waters and green pastures,
All: O Creating God, deliver us.

One: To the freedom and forgiveness we find in you,
All: O Risen Christ, deliver us.

One: To the tough task of loving our enemies,
All: O Jesus, deliver us.

One: To joyful service in your name,
All: O Servant of All, deliver us.

One: To the promise of a new heaven and a new earth,
To the wholeness of justice,
To the power of your peace,
All: O Holy Spirit, deliver us now and in the days to come.

Closing Prayer Charge our lives and our churches with the power of your peace, O God. Overcome our fears and self-deceptions with the promise of your presence. Make us signs of your generosity and justice. Light us each day with hope, we pray, so that we may walk in your truth and be love in your Name. Amen.

Message of His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope & Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa for the Day of Prayer for Peace in the World, Assisi, January 24th, 2002:

It is with great joy and brotherly love that we send you our warmest greetings from the See of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa.

In these times of war and terrorist attacks, times that are contrary to the spirit of God's love and peace, we turn our hearts and minds towards the Creator and seek His mercy and patience, so that peace and brotherly love will reign in this turmoil and much afflicted society of ours.

We who believe in God's condescension and philanthropy, offer praise to Him and ask that He grant us His peace, for He is the fountain of peace and the salvation of man.

In doxologies and hymns we thank God, for He grants to all of us, in our human frailty, His abundant mercy, love and compassion. He is the one who gives us strength to live in unity and mutual understanding which we especially need in these times of fear and disaster.

We give praise to God and ask Him to grant peace, love, equality and solidarity to people of different races and to those practicing different religious so we can see the peace of God reign in the hearts of us all.

We seek a society that consists of people of a different race, color, descent and language living in brotherly love. We seek a world where one upholds the sickness, trouble, weakness and imperfection of the other, so we can taste the benefits of peace, justice, love, philanthropy and equality.

In order to reach this kind of peace we need the mercy and presence of God, Who is the Master of Peace. Truly, He is the peace among us. He is the One Who can bestow in the depths of our hearts the real and eternal peace, the light and life. May those who govern us learn His way, a way of perfect co-operation, of acceptance of all of us who live in this world, so that we may live in a world free of any oppression, injustice, war, race discrimination and discomfort.

We toil and work all day and night to aid man and to respect his dignity. We are against war. We do not want to see man suffering from war as it can only bring hate and disaster.

We pray to the Lord to illuminate the hearts and minds of our leaders so that the holy and life-giving spirit of God may bring the peace and grace to people in the world.

We beseech our Lord and God, the Governor of the whole universe, to grant
peace, love, justice, equality and fraternity among people in this New Year.

Live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians, 13:11).

His Beatitude Pope Petros VII, Greek Orthodox patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, was killed on September 11, 2004 in a helicopter crash over the Aegean Sea while he was travelling to the Mount Athos monastery in northern Greece. Along with him, 17 other people were killed in the accident. read the press release...

A Prayer for peace from the Franciscan tradition from Father Giovanni Battistelli, Custos of the Holy Land:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon,
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
Where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may seek
not so much to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

A prayer from His Eminence Archbishop Dr. Anba Abraham Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate:

O Lord God Almighty, we raise our hearts to you asking for Your mercy. Please God, look upon us, Your children, in the turmoil of this troubled world, full of suffering, pain, depression, persecution, violence, bitterness, hatred, and, above all, injustice. O Lord, have mercy upon us.

Grant Your peace to our city, the city of peace, that has long suffered and is still suffering from the grief of wars.

O Lord, remember all those who are persecuted and tortured - defend them. Remember the bereaved - give them condolence. Homes for the homeless, quick recovery for the sick, and repentance to sinners. Guide the world leaders to be just and understanding.

We pray for justice and peace to prevail everywhere.

O Lord God our Father, grant us peace - not that of the world - but your heavenly everlasting peace that you promised us deep in our hearts. Give us the power to forgive and forget and fill our hearts with love towards all for the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

A prayer from His Eminence Archbishop Mar Swerios Malki Mourad Syrian Orthodox Patriarchal Vicar:

From the Spiritual Treasure on Canonical Prayer Book 12 - Supplication to the Holy Spirit
O You Divine Comforter, Spirit of Truth; O treasure-house of goodness, and fountain of life; You Who do apportion gifts and give divine favors, come dwell in us, and cleanse us thoroughly from all defilement. O Lord, create in us a clean heart, and renew within us a right spirit, even the spirit of temperance and purity, the spirit of piety and holiness, the spirit of deliberation and strength, and the spirit of knowledge and the fear of You, O God. Be with us and among us, guiding, aiding, strengthening and comforting us. O Holy, Merciful and Good Spirit, grant me a fountain of tears that, with them, I may wash my heart clean of its defilement, so that it pleases You to dwell in it. Ignite in it the fire of Your divine love, and refresh and revive in me the spirit of good work, that I may live in You forever and ever.

A prayer from His Eminence Archbishop Abba Kewestos Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate:

In the name of the Father and of the Son
And of the Holy Spirit one God, Amen.

For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

And who is he that will harm you if you will be followers of that which is good?

But if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meakness and fear;


A prayer from His Eminence Archbishop Paul Nabil Sayyah Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate:

God Father of all, we give you praise for your creation and with your creation. Out of love you brought everything into existence and continue to watch over the whole universe and sustain it with love.We come to you in all confidence seeking your forgiveness for the harm we have done and are doing to each other and to your creation, especially during the present times and in various parts of the world.

Lord Jesus Christ, you came to bring us peace, that all peoples may have life and have it in abundance. As we prepare to relive the events of your incarnation help us keep in mind vividly that you have called us to be peace makers and to help each other reach the fullness of life to which you have called each and every human being. Look upon all the people who are suffering from hunger, displacement, injustice, violence, discrimination and all those who are marginalized in our societies. For Jerusalem and all the land of your birth we ask a special blessing and we pray that all those who have the privilege of living there may remember that they are children of the one Father who wants each and everyone of them equally to be enabled to live life to the full. Grant the decision makers, in the Holy Land and everywhere in the world, the wisdom and courage to do their utmost to bring about just peace and lasting reconciliation. Do not allow them to use different standards in their caring for your people and your creation and to justify excessive violence when it serves their objectives.

Holy Spirit, God of Light, enlighten each and every buman being, especially those entrusted with the huge responsibility of making decisions that affect the lives of millions of people all over the world, that they may remember that seeking power, domination and material gain will never bring them lasting bliss. Love and only love can lead to true and lasting happiness and peace and bring all humanity and the whole of creation to the fullness of life and thus give glory to the Creator and Father of all. Amen.

A prayer and a Palestinian Litany from His Grace Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and Palestine:

"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid." (Isaiah 12:2) Heavenly Father, we praise you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to be born in Bethlehem to become one of us. As we this Christmas again thank and praise you for the birth of your Son, we find ourselves in the midst of violence, bloodshed, and hatred that seem to have no end. We feel helpless in front of the political and military might of this world. We look around us and find no salvation in human beings, but only in our incarnated Lord.

As we join the shepherds of Beit Sahour and the Magi of the East in finding your salvation in the Holy Child in the manger, we pray that your presence will be seen and felt among us in these days of destruction and death.

We ask you to cleanse our hearts from bitterness and hatred, and from frustration and fear. Make us all turn to you with repentance and fill us with trust and confidence in you, who is our salvation. We pray that all our suffering will bring us closer to you, and make us grow in faith and trust in you, and in love towards all our neighbours.

Send your Holy Spirit to comfort the bereaved families, to bring recovery to the injured and disabled, and to change the hearts of all of us to make us see that your will in the Holy Land is that Palestinians and Israelis live justly and equally together. Change the minds of the politicians so that they may turn the swords into ploughshares.

Bless your Church to be your instrument for peace, bringing comfort to the afflicted, promoting justice for the weak and dispossessed, and witnessing your love to all people.

In Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Almighty and Eternal God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we glorify and praise you. You are our only refuge in this troubled world.

We glorify and praise you, our God.

Merciful God, in the birth of your Son Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, you became one of us, sharing and understanding our humanity, our suffering and our problems.

We glorify and praise you, our God.

We thank you that you took refuge in Egypt, identifying yourself with all who are refugees and victims of political power.

We thank you, our God.

We thank you that you grew up in Nazareth and ministered to the people in Galilee, and spread your kingdom in a new way.

We thank you, our God.

We thank you that you were crucified in Jerusalem, identifying yourself with every person who suffers and lives under occupation and injustice. On the cross you carried the sin and the suffering of all human beings and reconciled us with you and with our fellow human beings.

We thank you, our God.

Our heavenly Father, we come before you with all the troubles and pains we are experiencing here in the Middle East.

Lord, have mercy on us.

We pray for all victims of injustice and violence in the present situation. We pray also for those who are responsible for injustice and all the forms of violence.

Lord, have mercy on us.

We pray for our laborers who cannot enter to their places of work. We pray for our youth who are losing their hope for the future.

Lord, have mercy on us.

We pray for our mothers who are fed up with bloodshed, killing and the use of arms. We pray for bereaved families who lost their dear ones. We pray for the quick recovery of the injured. We especially pray for those who have to live with permanent disability.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Jesus, our Savior, our eyes look to you, our only help in these troubled times. Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray that you open the eyes of the world, and of Israelis and Palestinians, for justice and reconciliation. Help us to see that the security and freedom of the one people is dependent on the security and freedom of the other.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for politicians that they may realize that the security and peace we all long for will not come by the use of arms and force, but by doing justice so that the two peoples can reconcile and together work out an equitable co-existence for the future.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, you have called us to be your followers. Give us your love for our fellow human beings. Free us, and our children, from hatred, bitterness, and the denying of the rights of others; and fill us with love, truth, and justice, so that we can recognize and respect the dignity and the rights of one another.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, you have shown us that forgiveness is not forgetting one's rights but asserting them. We know that forgiving is to see Christ in our enemies and to love them as our neighbors. Help us who are Palestinian to see you in Israelis, and Israelis to see you in us. Lead us all to affirm and respect that our humanity is a gift from you, as we are all created in your image. Give us courage to mutually recognize each other's human, religious, civil and political rights.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Holy Spirit, giver of life and new beginnings, help us to faithfully respond to God's call to be ministers of reconciliation.

Come, Holy Spirit, renew us all.

Help us to find ways of encouraging people to open their hearts and confess their part in the past injustices and find ways to build a just and secure future for our children. Give us wisdom and courage in this difficult task. When the pressures of the situation make us despair, come with your Holy Spirit and renew our strength and hope.

Come, Holy Spirit, renew us all.

Sustain with your power those, who in the midst of all difficulties, are building quietly the culture of reconciliation, justice and peace. They may not be many right now, but we remember that the work for God's kingdom among us, started with only a handful of faithful and committed people.

Come, Holy Spirit, renew us all.

Come, Healing Spirit, and change us and open ways for us to change others. Remove all injustice and fill our land with a just peace. Remove all hatred and fill us all with true love.

Come, Holy Spirit, renew us all.

Remove all insecurity and bring in real security. Remove all occupation and bring in freedom for all.

Come, Holy Spirit, renew us all.

Merciful God, accept our prayer and yearning. You are the only strength we have. No one can take the power of prayer away from us. In the name of Jesus - our Liberator and Redeemer - we pray.


Ecumenical Prayers for Peace from Archimandrite Mtanios Haddad, Greek Catholic (Melkite) Patriarchate, Jerusalem:

The Litany of the Peace

Priest. In peace let us pray to the Lord. Choir. God have mercy (Kyrie-eleison - repeated after each verse).

P. For peace from on high and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the lord.

  • For peace in the whole world, the well-being of the holy Churches of God and the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.
  • For all victims of bloodshed and violence, as well as for the perpetrators of these evils.
  • For all the children and the young people that you may give them hope for the future, let us pray.
  • For all bereaved families, the unemployed and all who seek to help them.
  • For all the guidance of your Holy Spirit for all the leaders of this land, especially President Arafat and Prime Minister Sharon, that they may be inspired to work for your peace with your justice.

So we pray together

Gracious Father, your love knows no limits. Fill our hearts with your compassion, open our eyes to your presence in the world, enlarge our minds to understand your will. Take our hands and minister through them. Speak through our words and direct our feet in the path of peace, that Christ may be revealed in us and that the world may believe. Amen.

  • Have in remembrance, also O Lord, we beseech thee. Thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, which is from end to end of the Universe; and give peace unto Her whom thou hast purchased with the precious blood of Christ: and establish thou firmly this holy Temple, even unto the end of the world.
  • Have in remembrance, O Lord, our most God-fearing and Christ-loving Ruler ... , to whom thou hast given the right to reign the earth. Crown him with the armour of truth, with the panoply of contentment.
  • Grant unto him peace profound and inviolate; inspire his heart with good deeds towards thy Church, and toward all thy people; that through his serenity we may lead a quite and tranquil life, in all godliness and soberness.
  • Visit us thy loving-Kindness, O Lord; manifest thyself unto us in thy rich bounties. Vouch safe unto us temperate and healthful season. Give gentle showers upon the earth, unto fruitlessness. Bless the crown of the year of thy beneficence. Make schisms to cease in the Church. Quench the rage of the nations; speedily destroy, by the might of the Holy Spirit, all uprising of heresies. Receive us all into thy kingdom, making us children of the light and of the day; and grant unto us thy peace, and thy love, O Lord our God; for all things hast thou given unto us.
  • Having made our petition for the unity of the faith, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, let us commend ourselves, and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

Choir. To Thee, O Lord.

  • O Lord, who blesses those who bless thee, and sanctifies those who put their trust in thee: Save thy people and bless their inheritance. Preserve the fullness of thy Church; sanctify those who love the beauty of thy house; glorify them in recompense with thy divine might, and do not abandon us who set our hope on thee. Give peace to thy world, and to thy Churches and to thy Priests: and to our most God-fearing Ruler ... , to the Army and Navy, and to all thy people. For every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh from thee, the Father of Lights and unto thee we ascribe glory, and thanksgiving, and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Choir. Amen. -- Blessed be the Name of the Lord henceforth and forever(thrice).

This prayer authored by Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy was used in many places in inter-religious worships around the time of the Gulf War in 1991:

Eternal God, Creator of the universe, there is no God but You.
Great and wonderful are Your works, wondrous are your ways.
Thank You for the many splendoured variety of Your creation.
Thank You for the many ways we affirm Your presence and purpose,
and the freedom to do so.
Forgive our violation of Your creation.
Forgive our violence toward each other.
We stand in awe and gratitude for Your persistent love
for each and all of Your children:
Christian, Jew, Muslim,
as well as those with other faiths.
Grant to all and our leaders attributes of the strong;
mutual respect in words and deed,
restraint in the exercise of power, and
the will for peace with justice, for all.
Eternal God, Creator of the universe, there is no God but You. Amen.

(Excerpted from Current Dialogue 24/93, p.36)

This text is taken from the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle on the Gulf region:

O God, who art the unsearchable abyss of peace,
the ineffable sea of love, the fountain of blessings
and the bestower of affection,
who sendest peace to those that receive it;

Open to us this day the sea of thy love
and water us with plenteous streams
from the riches of thy grace
and from the most sweet springs of thy kindness.

Make us children of quietness and heirs of peace,
enkindle in us the fire of thy love;
sow in us thy fear;
strengthen our weakness by thy power;
bind us closely to thee and to each other
in our firm and indissoluble bond of unity:

Syrian Clementine Liturgy (in: For all God's people; p. 73)

The following prayer is taken from a Monday morning worship in the Ecumenical Centre:

O Lord,
you love justice and you establish peace on earth.
We bring before you the disunity of today's world;
the absurd violence, and the many wars,
which are breaking the courage of the peoples of the world;
human greed and injustice,
which breed hatred and strife.
Send your spirit and renew the face of the earth;
teach us to be compassionate towards the whole human family;
strengthen the will of all those
who fight for justice and for peace,
and give us that peace which the world cannot give.
All: Amen.

From Pax Christi:

We come to you, God Creator.
You are the source of life and beauty and power.
Your son Jesus is the way of faith and hope and love.
Your Spirit is the fire of love, the fount of wisdom, the bond of unity.
You call us at all times to be people of the beatitudes,
Witnesses to the Gospel of peace and love and forgiveness.
You call us at this time, when war and rumours of war,
weigh heavily on the peoples of Iraq and the Middle East.
Their lives are already broken by suffering and violence.
We renew our acceptance of your call.

We promise to work:
To bring the light of the Gospel to those living in darkness,
To bring the hope of the Gospel to those living in despair,
To bring the healing of the Gospel to the lonely,
the disadvantaged, the marginalized,
And to bring the peace of the Gospel to a divided world.

Pax Christi UK - http://www.paxchristi.org.uk/Iraq.html

Creed of hope

I believe in God.
The God of all creeds, with all their truths.
But, above all, in the God
that rises from the dead words
to become part of life.
I believe in God that accompanies me along
every step of my path on this earth,
many times walking behind me, watching me and suffering with my mistakes,
other times walking beside me, talking to me and teaching me,
and other times walking ahead of me, guiding and marking my pace.
I believe in the God of flesh and blood, Jesus Christ,
the God who lived in my skin and tried on my shoes,
the God who walked in my ways, and knows of lights and shadows.
The God who ate and starved,
who had a home and suffered loneliness,
who was praised and condemned, kissed and spat on, loved and hated.
The God who went to parties and funerals,
the God who laughed and cried.
I believe in the God who is attentive today, who looks at the world
and sees the hatred that segregates, divides,
sets people aside, hurts and kills,
who sees the bullets piercing the flesh,
and the blood of innocent people flowing on the earth,
who sees the hand that dips into another's pocket,
stealing what somebody needs to eat,
who sees the judge that favours the highest bidder,
the truth and justice of hypocrites,
who sees the dirty rivers and the dead fish,
the toxic substances destroying the earth
and piercing the sky
who sees the future mortgaged and
man's debt growing.
I believe in God who sees all this …
and keeps on crying.

But I also believe in God
who sees a mother giving birth - a life born from pain,
who sees two children playing - a seed growing,
who sees a flower blooming out of the debris - a new beginning,
who sees three crazy women claimouring for justice - an illusion that doesn't die
who sees the sun rising every morning - a time of opportunities.
I believe in God who sees all this …
and laughs,
in spite of it all,
there is hope.

© Gerardo Oberman, Argentina
At noon on every Friday, visitors will gather around the altar in the roofless nave of Coventry Cathedral for a short service that begins with the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation.

Coventry Litany of Reconciliation

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Rom 3,23)

The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
Father forgive.

The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
Father forgive.

The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Father forgive.

Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Father forgive.

Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
Father forgive.

The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
Father forgive.

The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Father forgive.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

© Coventry Cathedral; reproduced by kind permission of the Coventry Cathedral

(The following 3 prayers were created during a seminar on Liturgy and Music organized by the WCC in October 2002 in Faverges/France.)


The image of your son is not visible
- in the pages of our newspapers
- in the faces of our leaders
- in the deployment of our weapons
- in the violence of our actions.

Take our words,
Our world
Our weapons
Our work
And transform them in your image.

So we may see your face
In truth where news is reported
In justice where power is abused
In peace where war is threatened
In reconciliation where deeds foster hatred.
Open our eyes Lord !


The image of your son is deformed by our sin,
Because we sin against you and our neighbours.

Forgive us when we ignore the suffering of your people
And violence and injustice near and far.

Give us the courage to confront our fears and
Help us to act as agents of peace.

Restore to us the vision of one church.

Open our eyes!


We are created in your image.

The only way to show your peace and justice
Is through us.

We are responsible for your world and
For each other.

Transform us through your Holy Spirit.

Open our eyes!

2002 © World Council of Churches, route de Ferney 150, P.O. Box 2100, CH-1211 Geneva 2


May the blessing of the God of peace and justice be with us;
May the blessing of the Son who weeps the tears of the world's suffering be with us;
And may the blessing of the Spirit who inspires us to reconciliation and hope be with us;
from now into eternity.

2003 © Clare McBeath