As we witness the escalating violence in the Middle East, here’s five ways we could join the Pope in praying for peace.
The appalling violence in the Middle East has left many around the world shocked, heartbroken and feeling helpless. Perhaps it can be hard to know how to begin to pray for a crisis like this. Here’s five prayer ideas for you to use as an individual or share with your parish, group or family.
Pray by fasting
We may perhaps primarily associate fasting with the season of Lent, but the Bible is full of feasting and fasting. We know that Jesus himself fasted in preparation for his ministry. Pope Francis suggested we fast as we pray for peace, and this practice places us in solidarity with those who are suffering and helps us focus on God’s kingdom.
Pray the rosary
“I also ask your prayers that, at the intercession of Mary, the Holy Spirit may be a bringer of peace in the conflicts spreading at this time in Israel and Gaza…please pray the great prayer of the Rosary that this conflict, in the homeland of Mary herself, will quickly come to an end.”Cardinal Vincent Nichols
As we pray the Rosary at this time, let us ask Mary, the Queen of Peace, to intercede for the people of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, Ukraine, Syria, Sudan and all the places in the world where conflict causes great suffering.
Pray with the Bible
Spending some time pondering a passage from the Bible, can help us listen to the heart of God. Here are some verses you might like to spend some time with today:
- “I will hear what the Lord God has to say,
a voice that speaks of peace,
peace for his people and his friends
and those who turn to him in their hearts
Mercy and faithfulness have met;
justice and peace have embraced.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth
and justice look down from heaven.”
- “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
- “Because of the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to shine upon those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”
Use our prayers for peace
Find inspiration for your prayer time with our prayers for peace. We have prayers for specific conflict situations, such as the Middle East, Syria and Ukraine, as well as prayers that can be used for any situation where peace is needed.
Seek to bring peace
Take time to pray that God will show you how you can pursue peace. Be inspired by these powerful words from Cardinal Pizzaballa:
“To have the courage of love and peace here, today, means not allowing hatred, revenge, anger and pain to occupy all the space of our hearts, of our speech, of our thinking. It means making a personal commitment to justice, being able to affirm and denounce the painful truth of injustice and evil that surrounds us, without letting it pollute our relationships. It means being committed, being convinced that it is still worthwhile to do all we can for peace, justice, equality and reconciliation. Our speech must not be about death and closed doors. On the contrary, our words must be creative, lifegiving, they must give perspective and open horizons.”Cardinal Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Letter to the entire diocese, 24 October 2023