A Prayer of Nonviolence and Peace, in honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday

This prayer is based on a portion of John Drear’s book, entitled, Put Down Your Sword: Answering the Gospel Call of Creative Nonviolence, (Grand Rapids: William Eerdmans, 2008), pp. 18-19.

Lord Jesus the Christ,

In light of praise, of your glory, of intercession, set our minds on the…

Resurrection–the vindication of nonviolence over violence, especially amid our bloody history, which proves that active nonviolence, steadfast service, and public peacemaking are a part of the will of Your Father.

You, Jesus, committed to follow the path of civil disobedience when you rose from the dead.  Roman soldiers guarded the tomb to make sure the Empire’s decrees were carried out; but once again, you broke the precarious laws of death.

You, O nonviolent Christ, have arisen (indeed!) above injustice, poverty, and violence.  You have arisen despite war.  You made the choice to not “let this cup pass” from you and defeated the death penalty.

You have arisen beyond the power of WMDs, racism, sexism, starvation, global warming, and violence itself.  You have arisen above the culture of R-rated, senseless death, arisen above the stain of xenophobia and color-phobia, above bully-ism and butcher-ism.

Lord, You call us to bold announcement–You call us to prove it.  To prove it with the boldness of our own lives, our nonviolent resistance to the forces of death, our words of peace, our commitment to follow your path, to not “let this cup pass” from our destiny.

You call us to share the peacemaking life with You.  You call us to confront violence and death, and all its metaphors.  For we too are headed for resurrection–Our survival is already guaranteed and, so, we’re free to live beyond the fear and anger.  We’re free to reject poverty and war.

You allow us to prove we’re resurrection people by giving us the courage to put down our swords and beat them into plowshares.  By loving our enemies and turning the other cheek.  By carrying on your work of resistance against injustice and protest against discrimination.   By speaking out, and persisting despite the obstacles, the opposition, the apparent futility of the Empires around us, knowing that the outcome is in God’s hands and is assured.

We’re free to live life to the fullest now, knowing that eternal life has already begun.

We thank you; we thank you; we thank you.

And it is in Your name that we pray and keep on praying,

Amen.

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