These are the prayers of Sylvia Bukowski of Germany and Barbara Peddie of Aotearoa/ New Zealand. They are prayers for unity. Use them with the name of your denomination inserted and with your country or continent’s details. Even more true to their spirit, allow yourself to be inspired by these prayers and write one of your own for the binding together of people, of nations, of faiths. The open tomb means many things. On the very simplest level it means — open the door, open all that those who would be closers in this world have closed, open all that our own fears have closed, open hearts.
Prayer at a Denominational Meeting
Lord of creation
We, who have gathered together in this place, represent many cultures…
but all of us are called to reflect your image.
We are the people called Methodist, _____________ (place denomination here)
and within that family are many branches and many traditions;
we sing our faith in different languages and pray using different words,
but we all rejoice in your gift of grace
and do our best to follow your call to love and service.
As the rivers in our eastern plains flow down from the mountains,
dividing and re-joining,
surging in flood, or disappearing beneath the stony surface,
but all moving towards the same sea,
so we, your people move on different courses and at different speeds
towards the goal of building your commonwealth of love and peace in this place.
O God, lover of the world,
we pray for our wounded world torn apart by warring and greedy factions.
May we be makers and menders.
We pray for our country, Aotearoa New Zealand
May we, who live in this fortunate place,
work to bring about your vision of justice and integrity.
We pray for our church facing the challenges of this rapidly changing time.
May we use our shared vision and differing strengths
to empower each other in mission.
We pray for ourselves.
Strengthen us to answer your call,
to offer our different gifts and skills in your service.
Nothing is impossible.
Whatever confronts us, we are the people who have inherited
courage and freedom, vision and responsibility.
We will move into the future in hope and faith
Carrying Christ’s light wherever we go. Amen. Barbara A. Peddie
Prayer of thanksgiving and intercession
you have created the peoples of the earth,
and you have chosen your people from all nations.
We thank you
that you have also spoken to us
and included us in your plan
to overcome separation
to reconcile enmity
to integrate entrenched boundaries.
God, your desire is that we should be one with one another,
and so we thank you
for the fellowship of the Protestant churches in Europe.
We pray, consolidate our unity
and strengthen our confidence
in the wideness of your compassion.
We pray for all churches that are still self-reliant.
Let them also find feasible ways
to be led together in reconciled diversity –
as a sign of hope for our very discordant world.
God, you know, that in our Europe
there is still much hostility, old and new, between nations
and groups of people.
Protect us from despairing of our responsibility
to pray and to work for a peaceful co-existence.
Grant those in positions of responsibility
in politics and economics
wisdom and humanity,
that they may serve peace and increase righteousness.
Make all who work in education skilful
to convey the worth of every single life
and to practise the proper measure of reserve and openness.
Strengthen all who are there for the sick and despairing:
preserve them in their sensitivity to others’ pain.
God of compassion,
sustain the happiness of lovers,
protect the carefree nature of children,
and keep us in all security with you. Amen. Sylvia Bukowski