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War: A Prayer of Lament

BBC map of Russia invading the Ukraine in war

God, you see all and know all,
your eyes are upon your creation,
those in the heat of battle, 
those praying from a distance.

We affirm and recognize that you, our God, have been
and continue to be Immanuel, God with us, an ever-present help in time of trouble.

Yet this week, we have witnessed and experienced intense anguish:
The injustices and division caused by the brokenness of this world–
An attack on democracy–-war and devastation.

We feel the helplessness that comes from watching others suffer–
Those who are separated from us by distance and language.
We feel despair over the cruelty of rampant power–
The insensitivities of those who hunger after power.

We cry out for mercy, for justice and we pray:
How long, O Lord? Will you forget your loved ones forever?
How long must we have sorrow in our hearts?
As we cry out we are reminded that you, alone, are sovereign.

As we see images of fathers sending their families to safety – 
Of hymns and prayers being lifted to you in war-torn streets
Of urgent requests for help, prayer, sanctions, deliverance –
We remind ourselves that there is no place hidden from your hand, your heart.

Move us to be intentional in prayer, in giving, in going as you direct–
Forgive us for our self-interests, our unconcern, our pride
May we with our whole hearts love our neighbors well, even as you have loved us.
May we love in both word and deed.

From war, resurrect peace.
Resurrect hope, faith, love!
O Lord, do not stay far away
You are our strength; come quickly to aid your people!

Lord, among your children, cause love to abound.
May we grow in unity, one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one God and Father of all.
Lift up our chins, our eyes to see you high and mighty, our Deliverer.
Lord, among your children, be glorified, your name above all praised.

With the Psalmist we pray –
We will praise you in the great assembly.
We will fulfill our vows in the presence of those who worship you.

The poor, hurting, war-torn, vulnerable will eat and be satisfied.
All who seek the Lord will praise him.
Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.

The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him.
All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
For royal power belongs to the Lord.
He rules all the nations.

Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
They will hear about everything he has done.
(Psalm 22:25-28, 30-31 NLT)

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