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Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at aumble@freelancestar.com.
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Prayers for Sudan

A story in today’s paper told the story of a Lost Boy of Sudan and a local youth group which paid for Joseph Awol to reunite with his mother after 22 years. Sudan has had a peace agreement since 2005. Under the terms of that agreement, a referendum has been set for Jan. 9. Then, southern Sudan will decide whether or not to secede from northern Sudan. Many fear this vote will be met with violence. Many faiths have called for a season of prayer leading up to the referendum. Want to pray along? Here are a few prayers:

From Solidarity with Sudan, Catholic Relief Services and the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference:

Prayer for PEACE in Sudan

Lord Jesus, you who said to us;

“I leave you peace. My peace I give you.”

Look upon us your sisters and brothers

in Sudan as we face this moment

of referendum.

Send us your Spirit

to guide us.

Give us the wisdom we need to choose

our future where we will know

your true peace.

You call us out of slavery, oppression,

and persecution so that we may

have life in abundance.

Grant us peace with one another.

Give peace among ethnic groups.

Help us to work together for the good of all.

We ask this in your name,

Jesus our Lord.

Amen.

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Adapted from a prayer by Bishop Desmond Tutu:

A Prayer for Sudan

We pray for the people of Sudan who worry if the peace will hold;

We pray for the people who have been terrorized and forced from their homes; for those who have fled to refugee camps, and who still live in fear;

We pray for those who have died, and for their families;

We pray for the women who face danger every day as they leave their camps for firewood – may You watch over Your daughters;

We pray for the children, especially those who face a frightening world without one or both of their parents – may they be protected and comforted;

We pray for the safety of the humanitarian aid workers as they feed and care for the people;

We pray for the safety of the African Union’s Mission as they work in difficult circumstances;

We pray for the safety of the United Nations’ personnel working in Sudan;

We pray for mission workers who seek to teach skills and tools for seeking peace and striving for reconciliation;

We pray that the world’s leaders will be guided by You in their quest for justice and safety for the people of Sudan – may they be inspired by Your humanity;

Remind us that we are all your children, and teach us to listen;

We pray that those who are causing death and misery in Sudan will turn from violence – and turn to You for guidance instead;

Teach us to rejoice in all the things we have in common and respect each others’ differences;

We pray that people everywhere will strive to live in peace, tolerance, and respect, no matter what their faith or race – may we gain the wisdom, grace, and generosity of spirit to overcome our differences and live as one.

Amen

From the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program:

Gracious God, watch over those who journey to Sudan to keep the peace. Guide them in their work. Bless the efforts of the peacekeepers. Hold them in your care. Speed the day when violence ends and all the people live in safety. May peace reign and justice roll down like waters across Sudan. We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

From Universalist United Nations Office:

Merciful and compassionate God,

Open the people of Sudan to your presence and leading.

Protect those who endure violence.

Turn the hearts of those who resort to violence.

Shelter the widows and the children.

Comfort all who grieve and who are weary and afraid.

Bring relief to all who hunger and thirst.

Open the people of the world to your presence and leading.

Open us.

Center our thoughts with all who suffer in silence.

Move us to recall our shared humanity.

Unite us in our determination to respond to injustice.

Guide the nations of the world to respond.

Make our action swift.

Hear our prayer.  Amen.

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