7 peace prayers for 7 weeks of Lent

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Penitence

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me – Psalm 51:10 (ESV)

Heavenly Father, I thank you for being a merciful and forgiving God. I confess that my thoughts, my words and my actions are not always peaceful, and that I don’t always challenge the hatred around me. Take away my apathy, help me to change my attitude and behaviour, and empower me to live as the peacemaker you have called me to be.

Pardon

Leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God – Matthew 5:23-24 (GNB)

I’m sorry for holding grudges against even those close to me, for the prejudices I show to those who think differently, and for cursing those who stand against me. I forgive those who have treated me the same way. Help me to make peace with them and to show the same spirit of kindness, forbearance and patience that you have shown to me.

Piety

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord – Hebrews 12:14 (NIV)

This Lent, may your Holy Spirit challenge me to strip away the distractions, the busyness and my selfish habits. Draw me closer to you and help me to think less about myself and more about the needs of others. Give me a heart full of compassion and a desire to sow your peace and love.

Prayer for leaders

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness – 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV)

I pray for the leaders of my country, and those in authority where I live. May their policies, their actions and their words be motivated by peace. Help us, as a society, to work together and break down the barriers, intolerance and divisions that separate us so we may live together peaceably.

Prayer for others

 Then he arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm –                    Mark 4:39 (ESV)

Help me to be more mindful of others in turmoil. For the victims and families of the violence on our streets; heal them and help us solve the root problems that lead to tragedy. For those who face hate crime or domestic abuse; help them find a way out. For the refugees who come to our shores; help them find a place of safety. For those caught up in inter-ethnic conflicts overseas; protect and comfort them. Calm their storms and give them your peace.

Prayer for enemies

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you – Matthew 5:44 (NIV)

I know that you have placed everyone in my life for a reason. Teach me how to love those I disagree with and guide me on how I can live at peace with them. I also pray for the enemies of peace. Soften their hearts, speak to their souls and steady their minds that they might change their ways.

Preparation for Easter

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross – Colossians 1:19-20 (NIV)

Thank you for making peace on the cross of Calvary through the precious blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Fill me afresh this Easter with awe at his unfathomable sacrifice, and with wonder at the glorious truth of his resurrection. Help me to share his message of peace, and to be a channel of his peace!

Amen