a prayer for peace talks

Today’s nation in focus is Syria. It is on our hearts every day of course. But today we spent our full hour in morning worship focusing on interceding for it, and specifically for peace talks happening next month which ‘the friends of Syria’ are currently trying to urge all opposition factions to attend. For those conversations, and the talks next month, this is our prayer:

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Lord Jesus – Reconciler, Peacemaker
And true friend to nations in distress –
You are always the hope and the healer.
We thank you for all you have done and are doing to soften hearts
and turn minds to dreams of peace and talk of peace.
We thank you for every breakthrough that has led to these talks
and we do not take for granted the miracle that brings warring parties to this place.

We long for more than talk
But we know peace starts here –
With people gathered around a table,
Looking not at ideologies, politics or boundaries
But at other human faces also scarred by pain.
And listening not to policies, plans or proposals
But to other human stories also told in anger.
Here there is a mirror that reveals
The differences they so fervently and distinctly hold
Have led them all here –
To the same darkness,
And the same table,
And the same hope of peace.

We come in confidence with a prayer we know is already answered –
That you would be there in that room –
Ensuring no one is absent and everyone is heard,
Translating between factions,
Interceding for people,
And softening their hearts to compromise.
For the sake of the third way, hopeful future,
And creative, restorative plan we know you will have,
Please let them hear you as you speak it
And be courageous enough to lay down their own agendas
To embrace it.

We ask these things for the sake of all outside that room
Who long for – wait for – and desperately need –
Peace to come.

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