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I compose and post these articles with only one desire in my heart: to praise God and to offer modest help on your spiritual journey.

Friday, July 8, 2016

PRAYERS OF RECONCILIATION

When tragedy strikes one always hears the request for prayers. Peoples
of all faith join their hearts and prayers together with victims of
hate, violence or natural disaster. So here we are a week later called
upon to unite in prayer for the two tragic deaths which occurred in
Baton Rouge, Louisiana and St. Paul, Minnesota as well as the
horrendous deaths of five brave police officers in Dallas and the
seven injured. Such a week of violence. Their blood cries out to the
Lord for justice and it cries out for us to work toward understanding,
reconciliation and meaningful solutions.

All the facts are not publicly known in any of these tragedies however
all of us regardless of color or creed must question our stereotypes,
prejudices and assumptions regarding our fellow humans. We as
individuals and as a modern civilized society must also question the
ready use of weapons to solve our problems.

Guns are a part of our society. They are so ubiquitous that the
question of eliminating them is beyond any possibility. Let us pray
for a solution allowing responsible gun owner ownership while assuring
the safety of our law enforcement officers and our citizens.

Let us question our culture which inspires their use. How can we
change, motivate, convert ourselves and our nation to be a people of
peace? To value, applaud and award de-escalation rather than celebrate
might and force in entertainment as well as in ordinary conversation
and daily actions?

As Christians we are challenged by the commandment to love our
enemies. Muslims are challenged as well to live up to their name as
peace loving. Buddhists are no less expected to be peacemakers.

On the surface we are fortunate in our county to be free of the racial
strife of the big city. But we would be foolish to think that beneath
the surface there doesn't exist serious divisions. Which is why each
of us is called to self-examination as well as invited to prayer. As
people of faith we may ask God of our understanding to reveal to us
needed changes. As people of faith we can ask God to change our hearts
if we willingly seek for that grace.

We honor those who serve us as officers of peace and who put their
lives on the line to protect us and our differences. Their courage and
sacrifice cannot be underestimated. We pray they may not become
hardened in heart by what they must encounter day after day.

We also pray for those who have taken their anger and turned it into
action and taking a stand for dignity and civil rights. Getting off
the couch and taking action even taking to the streets of our cities
in peaceful protest is an admirable and righteous deed.

We pray for our elected leaders on every level of government to act to
correct the violence we see in our society. We pray our society
replaces hatred, violence and the will to do harm to others with a
spirit of love, justice and wisdom.

We pray for the victims as well as families and friends who have been
deeply and profoundly affected by these events. May they find a path
that leads to reconciliation and peace.

Let us pray that we restrain ourselves when urged toward violence.
Finally let us pray for each other as brothers and sisters.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an
appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to
God.(God. (2Cor 5:20)

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