St. Norbert alumni, Toni Auletti, has been stirred, along with many of us, by the increasing tension and violence on display, not merely in our country but around the world. The "wars and rumors of war" that Jesus discussed with His disciples as recorded in Matthew 24:6 ff.1 have increasingly become center stage, which should prompt us to petition the Lord with prayer for peace. Christians around the world should be in daily prayer for their government leaders as the Apostle Paul writes his first letter to Timothy.2 Even those who have yet to find faith in our Lord Jesus Christ have throughout history made petitions to God for innumerable reasons, not least of all for "peace on earth" as testified to those listed below. Paul mentions to the Greeks3 that their own poets have recognized there is a controlling God, even though their statue to Him is labelled "TO AN UNKNOWN GOD".
Thus it is in this inclusive vein Toni has furnished the following "prayers for peace" that have come to us through the ages in one fashion or another. May God grant us wisdom in fostering peace with one another4 as abundant Scripture verses encourage us to manifest.
Note 1 Matthew 24:4-8: And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs"
Note 2 1 Timothy 2:1 "First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity."
Note 3 Acts 17:26 ff.: Paul makes this statement while debating the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill in Athens, "and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His children.' "Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
Note 4 Here is a comprehensive list of Bible verses where Paul and the writer of Hebrews implore their readers to seek and foster peace in their lives.
Romans 12:10 -- Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
Romans 12:16 -- Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Romans 13:8 -- Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
Romans 14:19 -- So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
Romans 15:5 -- Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,
Romans 15:7 -- Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.
Galatians 5:13 -- For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Galatians 5:26 -- Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Galatians 6:2 -- Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
Ephesians 4:2 -- with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,
Ephesians 4:25 -- Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.
Ephesians 4:32 -- Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Ephesians 5:19 -- speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
Ephesians 5:21 -- and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Philippians 2:3 -- Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
Colossians 3:13 -- bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Colossians 3:16 -- Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 -- and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you;
1 Thessalonians 4:9 -- Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
1 Thessalonians 5:11 -- Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:13 -- and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 -- See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 -- We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater
Hebrews 3:13 -- But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called 'Today,' so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 10:24 -- and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds"
[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]