Churches urged to pray for the United Nations and its work

Wednesday October 9th 2013

United NationsOn Thursday October 24 2013 recognition will be given to the ratification of the UN Charter which took place on October 24 1945. This day is marked each year around the world as United Nations Day.

The purpose of the United Nations is to bring all nations of the world together to work for peace and development, based on the principles of justice, human dignity and the well being of all people. It affords the opportunity for countries to balance global interdependence and national interests when addressing international problems.

Members of the United Nations Association for Northern Ireland invite churches to promote this year’s United Nations Day by praying for the United Nations and its work.

They suggest that churches call to mind our unity as children of God and our individual responsibility to work together for peace and understanding among all. Below is a prayer which is based on the Charter of the United Nations. More information about the work of the UN and of UNA may be found on the website:

Prayer – We give thanks for the work of the United Nations and for our sisters and brothers whom you have called to serve within that system. We are thankful that you call women and men from every land. We honour their work, their gifts, and their sacrifice. We pray for those who have given their lives in service, for their families and communities who grieve such loss.

We ask for your strength to be with each individual, who cares for brothers and sisters who are made vulnerable and are oppressed; who bears witness to evil and seeks healing in its wake; who works so that children are safe, people are fed, communities are stable and justice is known.

We pray that diplomats, peacekeepers, well diggers, health workers, researchers, lawyers, translators, secretaries, and all who work in any capacity would know your presence. May those who work in publicised crises, those who do the mundane work of the everyday, and those who work in places forgotten by the media and in emergencies deemed less important, experience your grace.

Grant all who serve, wisdom and courage. Grant rest, instil a sense of calm. When the way is difficult, give strength. When the way is obscured, give guidance. When they go astray, offer your gracious correction. Provide all that is needed for the living of these days and the faithful fulfilment of entrusted tasks.

We pray in the name of the one who is our Peace, Jesus Christ. Amen.
(This prayer was written by Jessica Hawkinson, a former associate for international relations and education at the UN).

Other Prayers to mark United Nations Day

God of compassion, walk alongside all of your global stewards who work to create a more just and peaceful world. Equip the United Nations community with a sense of urgency and humility that lets your will be done. Each day you give bread enough for all, grant us also the wisdom to ensure that everyone has enough. Teach the world’s leaders to forgive, to extend welcome across borders. Show the world a new path beyond greed, oppression, and division. We pray for a world united. We pray for the power to save succeeding generations from war. We pray for a glory that reaffirms the dignity and worth of every person. We pray that your grace might ensure life in larger freedom forever, for all of your children. Amen.
(This prayer was written by Jessica Hawkinson, a former associate for international relations and education at the UN).

Lord, God of all peoples, we mark United Nations Day to declare not our independence, but our interdependence. We are all created by the same God and share the same eternal destiny. We are called to live together in harmony and peace, as one family in the Lord.

We ask your blessings on us, on all nations, and on the United Nations, dedicated to fostering peace throughout the world. Bless all its members, that they may persevere, faithful to your commandments and, in all decisions, follow your divine will for all of creation. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
(Used with permission from the Augustinian Secretariate for Justice and Peace)

O God, Our Father, we pray for all your children on earth, of every nation and of every race, that we may be strong to do your work.

We pray for the United Nations, the World Court, and for all governments and their leaders.
Give peace in our time, O God, for worldwide agencies of caring which bind wounds and feed the hungry.
Give peace in our time, O God, for all who seek to transform systems that wound.
Give peace in our time, O God, for all who work for justice and peace.
Give peace in our time, O God. Amen.
(Used with permission from the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations)

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