Our Lord Jesus, we come to you today with cries of lament and sighs of longing. How long, O Lord, until you return and put an end to the hatred & violence that surrounds us—whether it’s in the streets of Ferguson or the villages of Iraq? How long before will there be no more warring nations and divisive personalities? When will see see the end of personal assaults and abuses of power? When will the dawn break on the day of no more arguments between friends, selfishness between spouses, and pettiness in our churches? How long, O Lord?
We yearn for the day when peace will be our governor and well-being our ruler—when gates won’t be locked to keep others out of our homes, but open to welcome the nations into the new heavens and earth. How long will it be until lambs and lions live together? How long, O Lord, until the knowledge of your glory covers the earth as the waters cover the sea?
In your Word you speak of justice often. Your call to live justly is loud & clear, and you have taught us that first part of justice is the condemnation of evil. Let us not harbor and protect evil in our midst. Help us to call it what it is and pursue justice. May we be a people characterized by repentance and sanctification.
In your Word the second part of justice is rewarding good. Make us quick to reward good, by both our words and actions. Build your good kingdom not just in us, but through us—use us to promote peace and justice in this world so thy kingdom might come on earth as it is in heaven.
Some of us have experienced first-hand the ugliness of racial hatred. We lament for our brothers and sisters. Bring this kind of evil to an end, we pray. We confess there have even been times when the injustice has come from us. Forgive us, O Lord, and teach us how to better love our sisters & brothers in Christ.
You have made it clear in your Word that your measuring stick for justice is how we treat the orphans, widows, refugees, and weak among us. We confess that our track record is mixed at best. Forgive us, and teach us how to build up the weak so that they might be strong in Christ.
Until the Day of Peace, Jesus, help us to live by the gospel, not by the sword—for you, not for ourselves—by the way of your cross, not by the ways of mere men. You are the Prince of Peace—sovereign over all angels and disciples, kings and conflicts. So we pray, come quickly, Lord Jesus. Come quickly and make all things right and just and new. Amen.
(This prayer adapted & expanded from this one by Scotty Smith)