Creator God we praise and bless your holy name. We bless your handiwork as seen in the beauty of the season. You are truly the Divine Artist.
We thank you for your mercifulness and kindness toward us and toward all of the world. We thank you for your patience and love–they are truly new every morning. You are God above all other gods.
We confess that we take your mercy and grace for granted. We presume on your love, forgetting that your love is a gift freely offered and given by you and there is nothing we can do to earn your love. Forgive us for insisting on our own way and attempting to control you–we forget that you are God of the universe. Forgive us for assuming that we know better than you do, for thinking we are more wise than you.
Merciful God, we receive your forgiveness and lovingkindness with humbled hearts. Thank you for your mercy and grace.
And now, Loving God, we ask you to intervene on behalf of the men, women and children around the world who are suffering. We ask that you pour out your Spirit to bring about justice as well as your peace.
We pray especially for the peacemakers around the world. We ask that you give them stamina and encouragement in the long, difficult process toward peace. Give each of them open and clear hearts and minds as they continue to work for peace. And God, we bring before you the extremists who want to destroy peace for whatever reason. We ask that you grip their hearts with love and compassion rather than power and revenge.
We also pray for the peacemakers in North America. We pray especially for those who work with warring gangs, with children who have guns, with parents who have lost hope. Oh God our parent, we ask that you stir us up, rouse us from our complacency so we will care that our children and youth are dying in this country. Help us to grieve over the loss of lives of anonymous youth. Give us a glimpse of your grief.
And God, not only do we pray for peacemakers, we pray for peace itself. Please bring peace to this world. Please answer our prayers.
Loving God, we thank you that you are a God who listens to your people and acts on behalf of those requests. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear as you move in this world and in our lives. Amen.