Although the United States is not yet formally at war with Iran, this may be a difference without a distinction following the U.S. assassination of Iran’s highest ranking general while he was visiting Iraq.
The following prayer, written on the first day of the Iraq War in 2003, has become timely again. I found the original in my files yesterday and have printed a copy to carry with me so I can pray it throughout the day. I invite you to do the same and to share it with others. In whatever ways you are able, embody your prayers with action. God and the world need both.
Prayer at the Beginning of War
Almighty and Loving God of the Whole World,
Our hearts are heavy.
We had hoped for peace but are now in the midst of war.
We pray for soldiers of all nations who also long for peace
But are now called into conflict.
We pray for families whose brothers and sisters,
Fathers and mothers, sons and daughters
Are now in harm’s way.
Give them comfort, courage and your peace
As they await word about their loved ones.
We pray for the people of Iraq.
For the parents and children, for the ordinary citizens
Who want war no more than we
And who did nothing to bring this upon themselves.
Give them courage and safety
As terror drops from the sky upon their cities.
Be with all the people of the Middle East this day
And with people around the world.
Help us to see each other as your own children
No matter by what name we call you
Nor what land we call our home.
God of Wisdom,
Be with the leaders of nations.
Give them your wisdom which is far beyond our own,
Grant courage when theirs fails,
And in your providence, grant us peace
For all your children and for your world.
Barbara A. Anderson
March 19, 2003
The Beginning of the Iraq War