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Prayer for Iraq and the World

This prayer was offered in a service of prayer held in the Calvin College Chapel on March 12, 2003, and can be adapted for use during a time of war.

God, our Father, we pray for peace, for the peace of your kingdom, for the peace which is embraced by righteousness and justice. We pray that your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as is it in heaven.

You have told us to love our enemies, to love those who hate us. Father, help us to pray. We pray for Iraq, for the land of your servant and our father Abraham. We pray that you would protect this land and its people from harm. Keep those who are innocent, civilians and children and the elderly and those who are infirm and weakened by disease or hunger, keep them safe, O Lord.

We pray for President Hussein and his advisers. Father, you hold the hearts of kings and princes in your hands. You turned the heart of the king of Assyria. Please, if there is some way that President Hussein can spare his people, show him the way and turn his heart.

We pray for his advisers, for Tariq Assiz and for Mohammed Abdurri. We pray for the other Arab leaders who may be in contact with him, especially for President Mubarak of Egypt and for King Hussein of Jordan and President Assad of Syria and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Give them wisdom and courage.

For our own leaders we pray. For President Bush as he prays to you each morning, Father, give him a sense of your presence. Show him a vision of your peaceable kingdom, and how he can do your will.

We pray for his advisers. For Secretary Powell and the State Department, for Secretary Rumsfeld and the Department of Defense, for Security Adviser Rice and the National Security Council, for the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate International Relations Committee, for their members and their staff, and for the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees; for all these men and women we pray that as the pressure mounts day by day, and they get more and more exhausted, please give them sense of possibility, that war is not inevitable, that creativity and intelligence can still find a way through.

We pray for our armed forces, for those we know and those we do not. Father, watch over Mark Bristow and Ben Fradette and Chaplain InSoon Gho, and for all those for whom we now pray. Keep them safe and strong and bring them back to us. Help them to be agents of your justice. Please help those who are working out targeting to avoid civilian casualties, and those who are on the ground to respect the local people with whom they are working.

Father, be with the leaders of the world and their advisers as they consult at the United Nations. Be with Prime Minister Blair and President Chirac and President Putin and President Jiang Zemin, and with the non-permanent members of the Security Council. Help them to think not only of themselves, and of their own countries and their own national interests, but of the needs of the world.

We pray for ourselves as we think and pray and worry. Father, we are so weak. But you are strong, and you can work your will. We pray, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.