A Prayer for Peace
May we see the day when war and bloodshed cease, when a great peace will embrace the whole world.
Then nation will not threaten nation, and mankind will not again know war.
For all who live on earth shall realize we have not come into being to hate or to destroy.
We have come into being to praise, to labor, and to love.
Compassionate God, bless the leaders of all nations with the power of compassion.
Fulfill the promise conveyed in Scripture:
I will bring peace to the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall terrify you.
I will rid the Land of vicious beasts and it shall not be ravaged by war.
Let love and justice flow like a mighty stream.
Let peace fill the earth as the waters fill the sea.
And let us say: Amen.
This is the prayer I said yesterday standing at the bema of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, California, celebrating the Bar Mitzva of my young friend Max. The prayer for peace text is part of the regular service. Even though I am an Episcopalian, I was deeply honored to be part of his big ceremony. I was very impressed not only with Max’s first public leadership of the large congregation but also with his wise interpretation of the Torah verses he had read in Hebrew – on leading a decent life.
All of Max’s family and friends were there and the whole weekend has been devoted to joyous gatherings and celebrations of his coming of age – including a big Chinese dinner with a video game truck for the younger guests. I have known Max since he was born – I am so proud!
Images Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson