The Episcopal Peace Fellowship calls on Episcopalians and all people of goodwill to join together for a week of fasting and prayer for peace with Iran. The fast will begin on the Feast of the Epiphany (tomorrow - January 6, 2020) and will end on the First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ (January 12, 2020.) As we once more receive the Prince of Peace into our lives this Christmas and renew our own baptismal commitments to respect the dignity of all persons, let us together join in solemn prayer and spiritual practice with the intention of peace in the whole world, but especially between the United States and Iran during this time of heightened anxiety.
Fasting is an ancient spiritual discipline which expresses a desire for contrition and an openness for change. You are invited to fast from something meaningful to you (whether a meal, social media, coffee, etc.) and set the intention of your fast for peace. You are also invited to join together in prayer and other spiritual practices for peace throughout the whole world. Resources to support your prayer are provided below. The Book of Common Prayer especially commends The Supplication (BCP, 154) for "times of war, or of national anxiety, or of disaster."
May the Prince of Peace whose glory is revealed to all nations fashion us into a people of peace with justice throughout the world. Amen.
Resources for Prayer
For use in the Litany in place of the Versicle and Collect which follows the Lord's Prayer; or at the end or Morning or Evening Prayer; or as a separate devotion; especially in times of war, or of national anxiety, or of disaster.
O Lord, arise, help us;
And deliver us for thy Name's sake.
O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have
declared unto us, the noble works that thou didst in their
days, and in the old time before them.
O Lord, arise, help us;
and deliver us for thy Name's sake.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy
Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.
O Lord, arise, help us;
and deliver us for thy Name's sake.
- From our enemies defend us, O Christ;
R.Graciously behold our afflictions.
V.With pity behold the sorrows of our hearts;
R.Mercifully forgive the sins of thy people
- Favorably with mercy hear our prayers;
R.O Son of David, have mercy upon us.
- Both now and ever vouchsafe to hear us, O Christ;
R. With pity behold the sorrows of our hearts; hear us, O Lord
Let us pray.
We humbly beseech thee, O Father, mercifully to look upon
our infirmities; and, for the glory of thy Name, turn from us
all those evils that we most justly have deserved; and grant
that in all our troubles we may put our whole trust and
confidence in thy mercy, and evermore serve thee in holiness
and pureness of living, to thy honor and glory; through our
only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the Nation (BCP, 258)
Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
For Peace (BCP, 258)
Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquility your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
For Social Justice (BCP, 260)
Almighty God, who created us in your image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
For the Human Family (BCP, 815)
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever. Amen.
For Peace Among the Nations (BCP, 816)
Almighty God our heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
For our Enemies (BCP, 816)
O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth: deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the President of the United States and for all in Civil Authority (BCP, 820)
O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President of the United States... and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
For Those in the Armed Forced of our Country (BCP, 823)
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly
grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Social Justice (BCP, 823)
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart and especially the hearts of the people of the United States and Iran, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In Times of Conflict (BCP, 824)
O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the Future of the Human Race (BCP, 828)
O God our heavenly Father, you have blessed us and given us dominion over all the earth: Increase our reverence before the mystery of life; and give us new insight into your purposes for the human race, and new wisdom and determination in making provision for its future in accordance with your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis (BCP, 833)
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where
there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.