A collection of Prayers for Peace - 2006

The following collection of prayers for the International Day of Prayer for Peace comes from a variety of denominations and countries. We encourage you to use them freely, taking note of the copyright information when given. Please cite the World Council of Churches if no other source is provided.

Download all the prayers (.pdf format).

Prayer for Peace

God of all goodness,
You have been our refuge from generation to generation.
Your will is that peace should shine on all people everywhere.

With your spirit, guide the efforts of humankind to bring peace and
justice to the nations of the earth, and give strength to rulers and all
who work to establish peace and justice in the world.

Inspire those who come together in search of ways to bring about
peace, and through your word, change the hearts of all people so that
we shall strive for:

Peace, and not war,

The Common Good, rather than individual wellbeing,

Your Justice, instead of our own glory.

You have given us your peace. Enable us to share that peace with those around us, so that love and harmony may be always present in our lives, that all the world may know happiness, that we may live with dignity as brothers and sisters, and that all may rejoice in your presence. United in diversity, we call upon your infinite grace, humbly asking you to receive our prayer and make us instruments of your peace.



Prayer for when there are disagreements

Lord, do not let disagreements disturb my hope.
Teach me to practice forgiveness day by day.
Give me the patience of what is sure.
Soften the sharp edges of malice.
Drown my bitterness in the depths of the sea.
Do not let anger destroy the power of gentleness.
Clothe me with the moderation that is resistant to indifference,
to covetousness and to hate.
Place your seal of love upon me.
May devotion to you order my paths.
May the joy of your grace fill me with strength.


Prayer for the rights of people

Lord God, we come before you with petitions in our hearts. We seek the balm that only you can give.

We pray that all children may attain fullness of life and grow in accord with your will. We pray especially for children who are ill, injured, hungry, or who live in problem households, for those who have to work, for those who suffer any sort of exploitation or sexual abuse, that they may know your love and healing.

We pray for families, especially those who know the pain of abuse, divorce, drugs, disease, rebelliousness, violence and lack of resources, that they may find healing.

We pray for communities divided by racism, violence, selfishness or ideology, that they may find a way to work together to improve the lives of children, families and all their inhabitants.

We pray for national and civic leaders, leaders of businesses, congregations, schools, hospitals and hostels for the homeless; leaders of local and international child protection organizations, that all such leaders may respect diversity, while at the same time promoting the best interests and welfare of children, families and communities.

We pray for the victims of war, racial conflict and poverty. We beseech you to hear our cry for justice, hope and freedom for all who are oppressed, exploited, persecuted, rejected and discriminated.

We pray for ourselves with our unfulfilled dreams, downcast spirits, wounded hearts and dashed hopes.

Lord, touch our congregations and our lives with the tenderness that only you can give, that we may be healed and renewed to do the work to which we have been called.

Silently, in hope, we lay our burdens before you, our God.


Give me a heart...

Lord Jesus,
While I sail on
Over the troubled waters of my life,
Give me the contentment of knowing
That I have, as a compass,
A heart that will bring me to love's harbour.

Able to love and open up and give myself to others.

Able to love and live in hope.

Able to love and sow peace in the world.

Able to love and measure myself by the standard of justice.

Able to love and understand and forgive others.

Able to love and weep without being discouraged.

Able to love and see God in everyone.

Able to love and be faithful unto death.

Able to love.


Where is our earth going?

Where is our earth going?
Where is our earth going?
Our world, full of weeping, where is it going?
If love is killed,
If we remain divided,
Where is our earth going?

Loving God, forgive us.

Nothing can be born again,
Nothing can be born again and live,
If our fists are clenched,
If our efforts are misdirected,
Nothing can be born again.

Loving God, forgive us.

In order to build the city,
In order to build the city and celebrate,
We need to learn to share,
Share wine and salt and wheat,
In order to build the city.

Sharing God, forgive us.

In this vast world,
In this vast weapon-laden world,
Humankind has been made to love,
And to work for peace,
In this vast world.

Peace-loving God, forgive us.

War - never again!
War - never again!
What we want is friendship.
We raise our voices in support of unity.
War - never again!

God, making us brothers and sisters, forgive us.


What we should pray for...

Lord, help me to tell the truth in the presence of the powerful,
And not to tell lies to gain the favour of the weak.

If you grant me good fortune, may I still be happy.
If you grant me strength, keep me of sound mind.

If you grant me success, keep me humble.
If you humble me, help me to accept it with dignity.

Help me always to see the other side of the coin.
Save me from blaming other people because they think differently from me.

Teach me to love others as myself,
And to judge myself as I judge others.

If I succeed, save me from pride.
If I fail, save me from despair.
Rather remind me that the experience of failure comes before success.

Teach me that to forgive is the greatest thing that those who are strong can do,
And that revenge is the primitive reaction of the weak.

If you take my good fortune away, leave me with hope.
If you take my success away, leave me with the strength to rise above defeat.If I fail others, give me the courage to admit it.
If others fail me, give me the courage to forgive.

Lord, if I forget you, do not you forget me.


Prayer of a man without work

Our good Father God, we give you hearty thanks for the gifts that you have given us, and for our hands with which we can work day by day to provide ourselves with food and sustain our lives. Lord, in your Word you tell us that the labourer is worthy of his hire, and those of us who have lost our jobs feel that we are losing our dignity.

Lord, we are not useless! But our situation and everything around us makes us feel that we are useless. We know, O God, that you love us all the same, because we are your sons and daughters. But more and more people are losing their jobs and the fear of not getting a job makes us really desperate. Lord, we know that this is an evil of our times in this globalized world, and that there are many of us hurting like this.

We trust in your great love, O God, and we know that this is not your will. Free us from this evil. Soften hard and selfish hearts whose desire for gain knows no limits, the hearts of those who should share so that there is food and work for all. Lord, we pray that you will keep us determined and united. Help us to keep our hearts and hands ready to help and encourage our brothers and sisters who are downcast. Lord, we know that you love us. Do not let your sons and daughters lose their dignity. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


Remembering women

Spirit of life, we remember today women, famous women and nameless women, who in the course of history have used the strength and gifts that you have given them to change the world. We call upon these our ancestors in the faith to help us to discover in ourselves this strength and the way to use it to bring in the Kingdom of justice and peace.

We remember Sarah, who with Abraham answered God's call to leave their native land and put their trust in a covenant with the Lord.
We pray for her strength of faith.

We remember Esther and Deborah, who by their personal deeds of courage saved their nation.
We pray for their strength and courage in acting for the good of many.

We remember Mary Magdalene and the other women who followed Jesus, who were not believed when they told of his resurrection.
We pray for their strength of belief when confronted with scepticism.

We remember Phoebe and Priscilla and the other women who were leaders in the early church.
We pray for their strength to spread the Gospel and to inspire other communities of believers.

We remember the abbesses of the Middle Ages who kept faith and knowledge alive.
We pray for their strength of leadership.

We remember Teresa of Ávila and Catherine of Siena, who challenged the corruption of the church at the Renaissance.
We pray for their strength of intelligence and assertiveness.

We remember our mothers and grandmothers, whose lives have shaped ours.
We pray for the particular strength that they sought to pass on to us.

We pray for women who are victims of domestic violence.
May they find strength to overcome fear and seek solutions.

We pray for women facing a life of poverty and malnutrition.
May they find strength to hope and work together for a better life.

We pray for women who have led the way in making a breakthrough for women.
May they find strength to persevere and open up new opportunities for all women.

We pray for our daughters and granddaughters.
May they find strength to discover a life that is distinctively theirs.

(Add here the names of women whom you wish to remember or for whom you wish to pray.)


We have celebrated the strength of many women, past and present. Now we come to celebrate ourselves. In each one of us there is the same life, the same light, the same love. In each one of us there are the seeds of strength and glory. Our bodies can lovingly touch, our hearts can heal, our minds can discern faith, truth and justice.

Spirit of life, be with us in our quest. Amen.   



Translated from Spanish, Language Service, World Council of Churches