Evening Prayer Friday, 11 September 2020

World peace can be achieved when, in each person, the power of love replaces the love of power. Sri Chimnoy

Today marks the anniversary of the horrifying terrorist attacks nineteen years ago in the USA
which have become known as 9/11.
Events like this shock people throughout the world,
though how they feel and their thoughts about why they happen
and how to address the issues which gave rise them may vary considerably.

Friday is the day of the week when Christ the Cornerstone has regularly held a service of Prayers for Peace each week.
On this anniversary of 9/11, it seems appropriate for our prayers this evening to focus on the need for peace in our broken world.

There has been plenty of evidence this week of violent actions by individuals, in communities, nations and internationally.
As I write these prayers at the beginning of the week,
we hear reports of a shooting incident in a school in Suffolk and a stabbing in Birmingham;
the on-going pain in families of victims of the Manchester Bombing;
political unrest in Belarus
and also that war-torn Yemen is now suffering the additional burden of coronavirus.
Each of these issues may give rise to feelings of horror, revenge, despair, helplessness – what can we do?

Yet, amidst all these distressing situations, we know that we have much to be thankful for.
And we know that gratitude and positive action usually bear more fruit than negativity and reprisals.
We also know that we are not helpless, because God is there for us to call on –
even if prayer is not our first response.
So, as we reflect on all these situations which demand our attention
and where people need to experience the Love of God, we bring them all to God in our prayers.

We thank you, Loving God, for every gift you give to us –
a beautiful world, the variety we see in the passing seasons,
the companionship of friends and family and, most of all, that you are always there by our side.
We pray that we may feel that closeness when times get hard for us
and when we despair at news of people we cannot help ourselves.
Open our eyes to see the light in the darkness and give us the insight to ask you to guide us to that light.

God of compassion, you created a world for us to know your love and peace.
Yet amidst the beauty of creation we encounter pain and hurt and forces beyond our control.

We pray for all who are hurting, all who suffer loss and all who mourn –
bring them the comfort of knowing that you are there beside them.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who work to bring relief, comfort and fresh hope –
support and sustain them, so that they do not become overwhelmed.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for lives lost, families torn apart, lonely and disoriented people, the homeless,
their lives shattered, feeling hungry, afraid – bring practical help and loving care.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for aid workers and health workers, alongside the sick and dying,
courageous, undaunted, hopeful – uphold them in all that they do to bring relief.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for recovery, for restoration, healing – and, in the years to come, generosity and closure.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Shine Lord into the shadows of this world
and by the light of your people, dispel the darkness,
that this world might glimpse your grace
and seeing it, might be drawn to you.


Please click on the link below to hear the Cornerstone Choir singing, ‘Put peace into each other’s hands.’


Put peace into each other’s hands
and like a treasure hold it,
protect it like a candle-flame,
with tenderness enfold it.

Put peace into each other’s hands
with loving expectation;
be gentle in your words and ways,
in touch with God’s creation.

Put peace into each other’s hands
like bread we break for sharing;
look people warmly in the eye:
our life is meant for caring.

As at Communion, shape your hands
into a waiting cradle;
the gift of Christ receive, revere,
united round the table.

Put Christ into each other’s hands
he is love’s deepest measure;
in love make peace, give peace a chance,
and share it like a treasure.

Fred Kaan (1929–2009)
Words © 1989 Hope Publishing Company