Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 5/22

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Memorial Day weekend has become known as the "unofficial opening" of the summer season - a notion not at all related to Memorial Day's origins and meaning.  It's unfortunate that millions will mark the day with time off and a cookout but fail to pause and spend time to honor those who gave their lives in service of their nation.

Here's a prayer I wrote some years back to use at the Memorial Day exercises in my town.  It's composed to be as inclusive as possible of all who might be in attendance at such an event.  Perhaps you'll print or copy it for family and neighborhood gatherings you'll be part of this weekend - and invite those present to pause, pray for and honor those for whom Memorial Day is intended...

Memorial Day Prayer

In the quiet sanctuaries of our own hearts,
let each of us name and call on the One whose power over us
is great and gentle, firm and forgiving, holy and healing...

You who created us,
who sustain us,
who call us to live in peace,
hear our prayer today.

Hear our prayer for all who have died,
whose hearts and hopes are known to you alone…

Hear our prayer for those who put the welfare of others
ahead of their own
and give us hearts as generous as theirs…

Hear our prayer for those who gave their lives
in the service of others,
and accept the gift of their sacrifice…

Help us to shape and make a world
where we will lay down the arms of war
and turn our swords into ploughshares
for a harvest of justice and peace…

Comfort those who grieve the loss of their loved ones
and let your healing be the hope in our hearts...

Hear our prayer today
and in your mercy answer us
in the name of all that is holy.


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Memorial Day Prayer
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