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Lord Jesus Christ, although you were indeed worthy to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing, you did not ask for any of those attributes as you lived among us in the flesh, nor do you ask for any of them as you now live among us in the Spirit. Reflecting the very character of God, you lived as a servant among people bent on exercising mastery. Reflecting the very life of God, you live among us now as a lamb in a world of lions. Have your way with us in our family life, in our church life, in our national life and in the life of our planet.
In our homes may we begin to be persons who listen without interrupting, persons who are patient rather than impatient, persons who are good-natured rather than irritable.
In our church life may we be persons who are quick to praise and slow to criticize, persons who are as able to receive help as we are to give help, persons who are as willing to be held accountable as we are to hold others accountable.
In our national life may we be persons who talk in ways that foster civility rather than in ways that contribute to hostility. May we be persons who are more prone to light candles that we are to curse the darkness. May we be persons who are not so set in our ways that we are incapable of change.
Lowly Lord, in the world at large reveal yourself more clearly to all of us misguided Christians, Jews and Muslims who think that we are serving your purposes in our warfare with each other. Deliver us from the self-deceiving notion that the only reason we engage in violence is that we have no other choice.
Compassionate Lord, surround with your comforting presence and healing spirit all to whom this day brings more suffering than it brings to us, all who are in trouble because of their own carelessness, all who are in harm’s way because of the carelessness of others and all who are suffering through no fault of their own. Give stamina and hope and healing to our troubled loved ones, friends and neighbors whose names we lift up to you.
O God, who made of one blood all races and nations of the earth, and sent your Son Jesus Christ to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near, pour out your Spirit on the whole creation, bringing the nations of the world into your fellowship and hastening the coming of your peaceable kingdom, as together we pray earnestly:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.
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