A prayer against war and conflict
‘In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and peoples will stream to it.
Many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between many peoples
and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
Everyone will sit under their own vine
and under their own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid,
For the LORD almighty has spoken.’ (Micah 4:1-4, NIV)
‘Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.’ (Isaiah 9:5-7, NIV)
‘Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”’ (John 18:36, NIV)
Our world is so full of war and conflict. When we see yet another story of violence and bloodshed, it can feel overwhelming, and we can find ourselves unsure how to pray. This is especially the case when the conflict is in parts of the world we don’t have personal connection with, or when the reasons for the hostility are so complex that we don’t know what the best outcome would be.
Whilst war is a tragic feature of this world, it will not be part of God’s new world. One day the Prince of Peace will return and establish his Kingdom once and for all. There will be no more need for weapons of war, only gardening tools for the cultivation of a peaceful world.
Prayerfully reflect on some of these questions, and write down any thoughts that the Holy Spirit inspires:
- How do you feel when you read about war and conflict in our world? Do you feel overwhelmed by it? Have you become numb to it? What response do you think God wants you to feel?
- How do you think God wants you to pray about this situation? Do you think He needs you to advise Him how to end the conflict? Or is He more interested in hearing your prayers of trust?
- Who are the victims of this conflict? If the reasons for the violence are too complex for you to process and pray into, why not start by praying for the civilians who are suffering because of it.
- What excites you about Jesus’ return? How do you hope the New Creation will be different to this one?
King of Kings,
Our war-torn world needs your perfect rule.
We ask you, Wonderful Counselor
To grant wisdom to those who need it,
Enabling them to negotiate a resolution,
And establish lasting peace.
We ask you, Mighty God
To do what we humans cannot achieve,
And soften hearts that are set on violence,
Leading them to repentance.
We ask you, Everlasting Father
To draw near to those who are most vulnerable.
May children, the elderly, bereaved and displaced,
Find comfort in your eternal arms.
We thank you, Prince of Peace,
That in your Kingdom, victory is not won
Through you shedding the blood of your enemies,
But by you shedding your blood for your enemies.
We long for your return,
To make all things new.
And we dream of the day
When war will be a distant memory.
When swords will be transformed into ploughshares.
Guns into trowels.
Armories into greenhouses.
When earth that has been
Scorched with fire
And watered with bloodshed,
Will be refreshed by the rain of your presence,
And become teeming with new life.
Come quickly Lord Jesus,
This week, why not reach out to friends around you, perhaps those from your Connect Group or church community, and share your reflections on the questions above. You may also want to do some of the following:
- Consider whether you know people who are in positions where they are able to alleviate suffering in war-torn areas. For example, they may live in a part of the world that is experiencing conflict, or work for an organisation that is helping particular people. Reach out to them and ask how you can support them in prayer.
- Consider whether there are any practical ways you can make a difference, through financially supporting aid agencies who are able to care for the most vulnerable in areas of conflict.