Some forms of prayer for peacemakers’ meetings.
At the MLKPC our lunchtime meetings usually include prayer, reflection together and discussion. At first we had simple liturgies at the start of the meeting. The aim was to have a framework for a reflection on peace from Biblical and other Christian sources and also to incorporate more spontaneous praying for local and wider situations of concern to peacemakers. In this way we hope to include ways of praying that feel familiar to people who come from so-called liturgical and non-liturgical backgrounds. You will see that some of the liturgy incorporates the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation as a connection to a wider community of people praying for peace in a violent world.
One of the prayer forms, "Prayers for peace meeting starter" is how we started out. The liturgy was, in effect, an extended opening prayer for the meeting which encouraged us to pray together for things that concerned us a peacemakers. The other form, “Praying and deciding for peace”, is an approach to prayer within a meeting that attempts to encourage participants to interweave prayer and conversation. In a sense, the goal is to pray the meeting and to conversationalise (yes, I think I just made that word up) the praying. So, in that form, written prayers structure different phases of the meeting and act to move it on. This makes it possible to consider within the meeting our own responses, joys and sorrows as they are prompted by the liturgy and for the meeting to be not just a consideration of ‘business’ with prayer tacked on at the start and end, but for it to become more prayerful and relational as a whole.
To use this form of prayer, it is best for the person leading to have looked through the whole thing first so as to be aware of how the whole fits together. This will help with directing the flow of the conversation and keeping to time.
We hope you will try one or both of these forms of prayer together. Do let us know how it goes and send us any further suggestions. They are free to use; please do credit them to us as they are Creative Commons licensed to share with credit given.
Andii Bowsher (co-convenor of MLKPC
writer and compiler of the prayers)