Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Morning Prayer of Lament, based on Psalm 130

Morning Prayer of Lament, based on Psalm 130 and
the Pastoral Letter on the War in Iraq

1Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
2   Lord, hear my voice!

Today is the fifth anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq.
Thousands of precious American lives have been lost;
thousands more have been altered forever by injuries;
Tens of thousands more innocent Iraqi lives are daily being lost
to war and sectarian violence.
We grieve, we weep.
Let your ears be attentive
   to the voice of my supplications!
We struggle in our hearts and in our churches
to know the truth of what is happening to the Iraqi people and to America:
3If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
   Lord, who could stand?
In our name human rights have been violated;
Iraqi infrastructure and lives destroyed.
Precious resources have been diverted
from education, health care, and the needs of the poor.
Efforts to restrain the real sources of global terrorism
have been ignored or subverted.
Trust and respect for the United States
has been traded for self-serving political gain.
4But there is forgiveness with you,
   so that you may be revered.

We confess that too often the church has been little more
than a silent witness to evil deeds:
We have prayed without protest, and without action for peace.
As citizens of this land we have been made complicit
in the bloodshed and the cries.
5I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
   and in his word I hope;

Yet in the midst of our lament we may give thanks -
for pastors and laity who have raised courageous voices;
for military personnel who serve with honor and integrity,
for chaplains who care for soldiers and their families;
for veterans whose experience has led them to say, "no more;"
for humanitarian groups, who care for the victims of violence;
for the fragile Christian community in Iraq
that continues to bear witness to the Gospel
under intense pressure and fear,
for public officials who have challenged this war
risking reputation and career.
The Gospel witness has not been completely silenced, and we are grateful.
6my soul waits for the Lord
   more than those who watch for the morning,
   more than those who watch for the morning.

Today we call for an end
to war, to reliance on violence;
Today we call for humility and courage
to accept the futility of our current path.
Today we cry out for creativity
to seek new paths of peacemaking.
Today we call for repentance in our nation
and for recognition in our churches that security is found
in submitting to Christ, not by dominating others.
7O [People], hope in the Lord!
May we join protest to prayer, support ministries of compassion,
and cast off the fear
that has made us accept the way of violence.
May we return again to the way of Jesus.
Thus may bloodshed end and cries be transformed
to the harmonies of justice and the melodies of peace.
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
   and with him is great power to redeem.
For this we yearn, for this we pray,
and toward this end we rededicate ourselves
as children of a loving God
who gives "light to those who sit in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace."
8It is he who will redeem [our People]
   from all its iniquities.

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