Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hump Day Prayer . . . A Responsive Prayer on Hiroshima Day

At 8:15 in the morning of August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped from a USA B-29 bomber on Hiroshima, Japan. More than one hundred seventy thousand people died instantly or within hours. Few were soldiers. This prayer brings that tragedy before God once again. It expresses both lament and longing—a longing for peace. One: Let us join in prayer on this day of remembrance for Hiroshima, to recall the past, to be challenged in the present, and to seek hope for the future.

People: O God of power, gracious in love, you gave humankind responsibility to care for all the earth. But often we put our faith in military power even though you call us to build a community of trust and love.

One: By both our actions and inactions, by our participation in the systems of society, we often become agents of violence and destruction.

People: O God of all, out of death and despair, turn Hiroshima into a symbol of hope that nuclear weapons will never again be used to kill and destroy.

One: Let us remember Hiroshima as a beacon—committing ourselves to find ways to live together in peace. May we not be just peace lovers, but peacemakers.

People: O God of infinite possibility, transform our hearts and minds. Give us courage to use our skills and technology to transform weapons that destroy into gifts that cherish all of life.

One: Isaiah said: “It shall come to pass that the peoples shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.”

People: O God, make your vision real when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” O God, forgive, transform, bring your peace. Amen.

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