Prayers for Justice and Peace

Church of the Holy Nativity, Bethlehem

The Crucified An Urgent Supplication:

Almighty and Everloving God, yours are all things in heaven and in earth; mercifully hear the urgent supplications of your people, stay the hand of the violent, and grant us peace. Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy.

An International Prayer for Peace

Join people of all faiths around the world who are praying this prayer at noon each day:

Lead me from death to life,
from falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope,
from fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.
Peace, peace, peace.

(Adapted from the Upanishads by Satish Kumar.)

Prayers for Peace

1. Let us pray for peace with a greater justness in ours and every land: God of justness and mercy, we pray for an end to terrorism in any form. We pray for wisdom that will bring greater peace in our world. We pray for understanding and compassion that will safeguard the innocent and feed and find home for all refugees and all who suffer. We pray for companionship and strength for all who mourn. We pray in Jesus' love. Amen.

(The Bishop of Los Angeles, October 7, 2001)

2. O God, who would fold both heaven and earth in a single peace:
Let the design of your great love
lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows:
and give peace to your Church,
peace among nations,
peace in our dwellings,
and peace in our hearts:
through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

3. Eternal Lord, whose kingdom knows only the sword of righteousness and justice, and where your only power is love, send forth your spirit so that all the peoples of the earth will join together as children of one Father, for yours alone is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayers for Justice

Israeli soldier turning back priests

1. Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it:

Give us the inspiration and courage to build it, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

2. Almighty God our heavenly Father,
guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth,
and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness,
that they may become the Commowealth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

3. Almighty God, you have given all peoples one common origin, and your will is to gather them as one family in yourself. Fill the hearts of all with the fire of your love and the desire to ensure justice for all our sisters and brothers. By sharing the good things you give us, may we secure justice and equality for every human being, and a human society built on love and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Victims and Perpetrators of Injustice

Mothers mourn their childrenFor all those who have fallen victim to hatred and inhumanity, for those loved ones who are left behind to mourn, for the souls of those whose hearts are cold, Lord, hear our prayer.

For the children who are being born into this world of conflict and violence, for women and mothers who suffer needlessly, Lord, hear our prayer.

For all those who have been forced into unemployment, who long to return to work, for all those who struggle to support their families, Lord, hear our prayer.

For the soldiers who are misguided in thinking that their bullets will bring about peace, for those who feel called to conscientiously object to military orders, Lord, hear our prayer.

For the children who cry in their beds at night and wonder 'what have I done?', for the mothers and fathers who must try to explain the unexplainable, Lord, hear our prayer.

For all the children who have died before their time, for the soldiers who allow their uniform to strip them of their humanity, for the healers who are denied the opportunity to use their gifts, Lord, hear our prayer.

For the redemption of souls of both victim and perpetrator, for those who commit themselves to the forgiveness of sins, Lord, hear our prayer.

O God,
Open our eyes that we may see the needs of others;
Open our ears that we may hear their cries;
Open our hearts that we may feel their anguish and their joy.
Let us not be afraid to defend the oppressed, the poor, the powerless, because of the anger and might of the powerful.
Show us where love and hope and faith are needed, and use us to bring them to those places.
Open our ears and eyes, our hearts and lives, that we may in these coming days be able to do some work of justice and peace for you. Amen.

Source: Sabeel Center

Prayers for Refugees


1. Almighty and merciful God,
whose Son became a refugee
and had no place to call his own;
look with mercy on those who today
are fleeing from danger,
homeless and hungry.
Bless those who work to bring them relief;
inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts;
and guide the nations of the world towards that day
when all will rejoice in your Commonwealth of justice and of peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

2. O God:
You bring hope out of emptiness
energy out of fear
new life out of grief and loss.
As Mary returned to mourn
yet found unspeakable joy,
so comfort all who have lost their homes
through persecution, war, exile,
or deliberate destruction.
Give them security, a place to live,
and neighbors they trust
to be, with them,
a new sign of peace to the world. Amen

Source: Sabeel Center

A Prayer for Fridays

This is the fast that pleases me:
to break unjust fetters,
to let the oppressed go free,
to share your bread with the hungry
and shelter the homeless poor.
If you do away with the yoke,
the clenched fist, the wicked word,
if you give your bread to the hungry
and relief to the oppressed,
your light will rise in the darkness.
Isaiah 58:6-7,10

All praise be yours, God our Creator,
as we wait in joyful hope
for the flowering of justice
and the fullness of peace.
All praise for this day, this Friday.
By our weekly fasting and prayer
cast out the spirit of war, of fear and mistrust,
and make us grow hungry for human kindness, thirsty for solidarity
with all the people of your dear earth.
May all our prayer, our fasting and our deeds
be done in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Source:Archdiocese of Chicago, 1983 S

A Prayer of St. Anselm of Canterbury

Almighty God, you teach us by reason that all the riches of the world are made by you for our common use, and that by nature not one of them belongs to one human being more than to another; direct us, we pray, in obedience to your will, that all things may serve all people, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Michael the Archangel

O most merciful and mighty God, your Son Jesus Christ was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary to bring us salvation and to establish your Commonwealth on earth: Grant that Michael and all your angels may defend your people against every evil, and that at the last we may come to that heaven-sent country where your saints for ever sing your praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


1. Let justice flow like streams.
(Jane Parker Huber, 1984.)

Let justice flow like streams
Of sparkling water, pure,
Enabling growth, refreshing life,
Abundant, cleansing sure.

Let righteousness roll on
As others' cares we heed,
An everflowing stream of faith
Translated into deed.

So may God's plumbline, straight,
Define our measure true,
And justice, right and peace pervade
This world our whole life through.

A Benediction

Let us go in peace and proclaim to the world God's jubilee of justice and liberation; and may God's blessing be upon us now and forever. Amen.

Source: Sabeel Center
Photo of mothers: Nabil Al Jorani, Voices in the Wilderness

See also: A Litany of Nonviolent Resistance (Christian Peacemaker Teams)
A May Day Mass
An Urban Rogation Procession
Litany of the Saints
Prayers of the Catholic Crusade

Note: I began work on this section with a little trepidation. It is my conviction that the entire liturgy of the Church is a prayer for justice and peace and that the Sacraments are effectual signs of that Commonwealth of "truth and life, of sanctity and grace, of justice, love and peace" which is our heritage, our present hope, and our future glory. Justice, love, and peace are all wrapped up with sanctity and grace, truth and life, and we separate what the Incarnation has joined together to our own great loss. So our first effort should be to pray the regular daily and weekly liturgy with a deeper understanding and intentionality. But "special devotions" like the above can be helpful, I think, as long as we avoid the implication that concern with social justice is "something extra" for special occasions, or just for those who happen to be interested in that sort of thing. It concerns all the Baptized and is essential to the integrity of Christian faith and practice. -- Ted M.

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