Service of Prayer in a Time of War
A service plan for prayer and reflection during a time of war. It is difficult to know what to think during such a time. It is right for the church to gather in prayer and reflection, believing and resting in the belief that our world belongs to God.
Theme of the Service
We are living in a very critical moment of history. Terrorism has been on the mind of all for the past year and a half. Debates and disagreements between nations, within nations, and in the United Nations give us all cause for concern. The onset of military action in Iraq has taken place. Such realities cause us to feel anxiety, confusion, and even anger. Some fear for their safety, or that of loved ones, and all of us feel concern for peoples of the world who could easily become innocent victims.
Decisions and actions about war and peace are usually very complex and sometimes it's hard for us to know what to think. And so the church gathers in prayer and reflection at such a time believing and resting in the belief that our world belongs to God, our hope is in Him, and he will guide us through such times.
This service is provided so that the churches can spend time together in such prayer and reflection.
Please note that at several places in this service a “Sung Prayer” is included. We suggest that you choose from several possibilities:
“O Lord, Hear My Prayer” (Sing! A New Creation 203)
“Psalm 31/My Times Are in Your Hands” (Sing! A New Creation 131)
“Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying” (Psalter Hymnal 625)
The Welcome and Introduction to a Time of Prayer
*God's Greeting with Congregational Amen.
*Song: "Spirit Divine, Inspire our Prayer" (Psalter Hymnal 421)
Meditation on 1 Timothy 2:1-8
[Some careful reflections on this passage will set the stage for a time of prayer by the worshipers. Paul expresses his vision of the body of Christ, living in a sometimes hostile world, coming together with all kinds of prayers on behalf of leaders on every level, Christian or not. We who are citizens of heaven exercise also our citizenship in the nations of the earth by such actions.
He does not suggest that we pray merely that we will "win" or that we will prosper, but that God's good will can be accomplished so that his people can live with godliness and dignity and the work of his Gospel can go forward.]
Spoken Prayer for:
- the men and women who are serving in the military
- the other nations of the world, their leaders and their peoples
- the innocent victims of war
Affirmations of Faith
The Reading of Psalm 46
Song: "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" (Psalter Hymnal 170)
The Reading of Isaiah 2:1-5
The Reading of Micah 4:1-5
Song: "O God of Love, O King of Peace" (Psalter Hymnal 608)
Directed Personal Prayers
Sharing our concerns for prayer
[It can be helpful for the participants to verbally express their prayer concerns. Such expressions create a community-mind and help others to know how to focus their private prayers.]
Since God establishes the powers that rule,
we are called to respect them,
unless they trample his Word.
We are to obey God in politics,
pray for our rulers,
and help governments to know his will for public life.
Knowing that God's people
live under many forms of government,
we are thankful for the freedoms
enjoyed by citizens of many lands;
we grieve with those who live under oppression,
and we work for their liberty
to live without fear.
From Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony, Article 53, © 1987, CRC Publications, Grand Rapids MI, 1-800-333-8300. Used by permission.
[Worshipers may offer silent prayers, or they may be invited to speak publicly, or they may gather in small groups with those seated near them for a concert of prayer.]
We call on governments to do public justice
and to protect the freedoms and rights
of individuals, groups, and institutions,
so that each may freely do
the tasks God gives.
We urge governments to ensure the well-being of all citizens
by protecting children from abuse and pornography,
by guarding the elderly and poor,
and by promoting the freedom to speak, to work,
to worship, and to associate.
From Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony, Article 54, © 1987, CRC Publications, Grand Rapids MI, 1-800-333-8300. Used by permission.
Following the Prince of Peace,
we are called to be peacemakers,
and to promote harmony and order.
We call on our governments to work for peace;
we deplore the arms race
and the horrors that we risk.
We call on all nations to limit their weapons
to those needed in the defense of justice and freedom.
We pledge to walk in ways of peace,
confessing that our world belongs to God;
he is our sure defense.
From Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony, Article 55, © 1987, CRC Publications, Grand Rapids MI, 1-800-333-8300. Used by permission.
*The Benediction with Congregational Amen.
*Closing Song: “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” (Psalter Hymnal 545)
or, “Psalm 46: God, Our Help and Constant Refuge” (Sing! A New Creation 183)
or, “Healer of Our Every Ill” (Sing! A New Creation 205)