"Seeds of Peace" Prayer - International Day of Peace, September 2021

On Earth Peace invites individuals to use this prayer sometime in September, or congregations to incorporate this meditative prayer time in their services on Sunday, September 19, or Sunday, September 26.  Feel free to change "us" for "me" depending on context. 

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The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. (Gen 1:12) 

On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Rev 22:2)

The seed of God is in us.
Given an intelligent
and hardworking farmer,
it will thrive and grow
up into God, whose seed
it is, and accordingly its
fruits will be God-nature.
Pear seeds grow into
pear trees, nut seeds
into nut trees, and
God seeds into God.

+ Meister Eckhart - 13th c. German theologian 


On the occasion of Peace Day 2021 (September 21), we pray to water the seeds of God and the seeds of peace within us and our communities. 

Framing:  September 21 is the International Day of Peace, when communities around the world pray and act and build for peace. In honor of Peace Day 2021, we will spend some time today praying to see and engage the seeds of peace and violence in our own lives. God’s seeds lead to lovingkindness, peace, grace, resilience, persistence, joy. God’s peace is purposeful, dynamic, active, and engaged.  Yet within all people and communities are seeds of violence - not people, but elements within all of us that, left untended, create the conditions for division, violence--and ultimately war. In this prayer, you are invited to creatively imagine, sketch, or pray as you tend your inner garden and pray for vital seeds of peace. After each prayer refrain, a new prompt will invite reflection on a different setting or realm of life. 

We begin saying together: 

God, help us water the seeds of peace. 
Jesus, help us water the seeds of peace. 
Spirit, help us water the seeds of peace. 

God, help me look at the intimate places in my life. Where are seeds of peace?  Where are seeds of violence?   Take time to observe and tend this garden, noticing how roots and branches grow.  In your mind’s eye, water, weed, and nourish. (Leave space for reflection)

God, help us water the seeds of peace. 
Jesus, help us water the seeds of peace. 
Spirit, help us water the seeds of peace. 

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Allow God to help you focus on one relationship or situation where you struggle with conflict or anger - where you easily escalate, express scorn or judgment, or where you avoid engaging a delicate situation. Where are seeds of peace or violence?  In your mind’s eye, tend this garden. What do you want to water, weed, nourish, or bless? (Leave space for reflection)

God, help us water the seeds of peace. 
Jesus, help us water the seeds of peace. 
Spirit, help us water the seeds of peace. 

In your mind’s eye, visit the spiritual garden of your community. Where are seeds of peace?  Where are seeds of division and violence?  What can you observe?  What are you called to tend, water, bless, or weed? (Leave space for reflection)

God, help us water the seeds of peace. 
Jesus, help us water the seeds of peace. 
Spirit, help us water the seeds of peace. 

Think of your own faith community. Where in it are seeds of vital peace?  Where are seeds of violence or distrust?  How are you led to tend this garden, to water, bless, or weed?  (Leave space for reflection)

God, help us water the seeds of peace. 
Jesus, help us water the seeds of peace. 
Spirit, help us water the seeds of peace. 

Think of this country or the entire planet, and notice where your attention is drawn to seeds of peace or seeds of violence?  What are you called to water, weed, bless, or tend at this moment? (Leave space for reflection)

As this prayer concludes, what is one action you can commit to nourish the seeds of peace in a relationship, the community, or world?   (Leave space for reflection)

God, help us water the seeds of peace. 
Jesus, help us water the seeds of peace. 
Spirit, help us water the seeds of peace. 

May it be so. Amen

2021 Peace Day Prayer, “Seeds of Peace,” - Matt Guynn, On Earth Peace

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Permission is granted by On Earth Peace to use or adapt this prayer, provided that the source is attributed (Matt Guynn, On Earth Peace, www.OnEarthPeace.org). Please let us know how you use it by writing to [email protected]

 


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