A Litany for Peace

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Good God,
gracious Father,
creator of us all,
have mercy on us.

O Jesus,
Son of God and Son of Man,
our brother,
have mercy on us.

True Spirit,
moving over us,
Lord and giver of life,
have mercy on us.

Look at our world, broken by sin.
Look at our hearts, broken in grief.
Look at our minds, shaken in confusion.
Have mercy on us.

Forgive our shortsightedness and open our eyes.
Forgive our hate and empower us to love.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Have mercy on us.

On those who are angry,
on those who are hurting,
on those who are weary,
on those who work for peace,
on those who protect and serve,
on those who suffer loss,
on those who are vulnerable,
have mercy, Lord.

Give wisdom to those who lead,
give patience to those who wait,
give healing to those who hurt.
Have mercy, Lord.

Father, from one man you made every nation of humanity,
you make the sun shine and the rain fall on the wicked and the good,
you so loved the world that you gave your only Son,
have mercy.

Jesus, you took on human flesh and became the brother of the human race,
you suffered great injustice to bear the sin of the world,
you are the tree of life whose leaves bring healing to the nations,
have mercy.

Holy Spirit, you moved the apostles to speak the languages of all nations,
you let your Word go out to all people,
you call and gather your church from all the world,
have mercy.

See our world and our nation.
Help the helpless,
strengthen the weak,
soften the hardened,
warm the loveless,
cool the angry,
cleanse our hearts.
Mercy!

Father and maker of all, you let this world stand because you are gracious. Work that same grace within us that we love because you first loved us, that we imitate you as your beloved children, and live our lives in love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Jesus, Savior of all people and lover of all souls, show us what love is yet again by setting your selfless love before our eyes. You welcomed tax collectors and zealots, and taught them all the way of love. When you were dying you forgave those who didn’t know what they were doing. You gave your friends who deserted you your greeting of peace. Empower us to love, forgive, and give us your peace; Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Holy Spirit, you caused Scripture to be written that we might learn love that is the fulfillment of the law, and that we might know Jesus and follow him in love. You give the spark of faith and you fan faith into flame. Move us to put our faith and hope to work with an active love, that we listen before speaking, think before acting, and consider the needs of others before our own.
Amen.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, written during the violence in early June, 2020

References to Father, Son and Holy Spirit at the beginning, middle and end reflect characteristics of traditional litanies, and this is being written near Trinity Sunday.

The opening phrases “Good God,” “O Jesus” take the exclamations people often make when hearing bad news and develop them into petitions.

The shortening of responses “have mercy on us,” “have mercy, Lord,” “have mercy,” and finally “Mercy!” are intended to show a growing weariness.


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pastorstratman

Lutheran pastor serving St. Stephen's in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

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