Longest Night Prayer

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.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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  • Worship resources in a Mennonite voice for ears of all kinds

    Are you looking for resources for a Christian service? Feel free to use or adapt my prayers, poems and litanies. They are written in a Mennonite voice, for ears of all kinds. 

    Feel free to use these orally in a worship service (in-person or broadcasted)  , but if they are printed in a bulletin please use the following credit

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