There are good years and bad years,
and then there are years from hell.
Hear our prayer O God, for all who are tortured by war.
You know the anguished cries,
and the hearts that have turned to stone.
These are people who will die unless you save them.
We need a Saviour for those who sit in the shadow of death:
for children who have lost their parents,
and have no one to take care of them;
for teenagers forced to fight,
and who can’t imagine a normal life;
for all who have killed and have witnessed the killing;
for all who are fleeing the violence
and looking for a place of refuge;
for parents who have no choices
and see their children starve;
for seniors who cannot believe the losses they have seen.
God, you know the particular pain of each one,
the stories of death and sexual assault,
the stories of homes and homelands destroyed.
You gather our stories in your arms,
and in this longest night, you hold them and us.
Hope shines like an infinitely distant star,
like a star over Bethlehem,
shining over towering concrete walls
and machine gun battlements.
What we need is angels with good news of peace on earth,
lighting the sky of our lives, offering relief.
On this longest night, in the mystery of your love,
steal into our world again.
Be born again in hearts that work for peace,
who will find a way through the chaos that is war.
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
and we trust that you will guide our feet
into the way of peace.
This is our prayer, may it be so.