Thursday, May 02, 2002

Lord, hear our prayer

As Americans gather for National Day of Prayer, Tristate clergy ask for peace

        Today is the National Day of Prayer, a day when Americans are invited to cross denominational lines and pray together.

        Last year, millions of people attended 30,000 formal events across the country. Because of the Sept. 11 attacks, organizers expect today's crowds to be larger at events planned at courthouses, businesses, around school flagpoles, in places of worship and public arenas here and across the country.

        The Enquirer invited religious leaders representing various theologies to write a prayer for peace:

    The notion of having a national day of prayer dates to George Washington, who set aside a public day of thanksgiving in 1795.
    Congress established an annual day of prayer in 1952 and in 1988 designated the first Thursday in May to be the National Day of Prayer.
        Oh Allah, we turn to You during these difficult times seeking Your help and guidance, for You are the only God, the God of all and You care for all Your creation.

        You said in the

        Quran, “When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close. I respond to the prayer of every supplicant when he calls on Me.” (Al-Baqara 2:186)

        Grant us patience to understand our differences, to respect each others' beliefs; the wisdom to learn from one another and the ability to forgive and show kindness and mercy and guide us that we may work together.

— B. Salem Foad, M.D., Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati

        Our God, and God of our mothers and fathers, grant us your most precious gift of peace. In our world filled with violence and pain, let us also remember our world filled with love, laughter and friendship. As we focus on differences, may we also remember our common purpose to serve the good, to act as partners in creation, and to rejoice in each other's accomplishments.

        As a nation, may we know peace in a way that inspires others to seek peace and pursue it.

        As a city, may we know peace in such a way that “justice wells up as waters, righteousness as a mighty stream.”

        As members of our families, may we know peace in a manner that enables our children, grandchildren, parents, and spouses to become the people they are yet to be.

        As individuals, may we find an inner peace that has us celebrate others with all of their gifts, as we celebrate our individual self and heritage.

        May the One who causes peace to reign in the high heavens cause peace to descend on us and all humanity. Amen.

— Rabbi Sandford R. Kopnick, The Valley Temple

        Almighty Lord! Only you can save this world at this crucial moment. Fill the hearts of people with love of mankind. Oh Lord! Help the people to forget the bitterness of past. Help everyone to understand the importance of co-existence, mutual respect and world peace. May the principle of “live and let live” prevail and govern this world. Let the world leaders believe in open-heart confrontation to solve the world problems.

        The United States is a land of opportunity, liberty and diversity. Oh Lord! Let this diversity be the strength of this great nation. This diversity should not divide the country, but unite it.

        Oh merciful Lord! Let this diversity be like a garland of multicolored flowers. May the thread of mutual love and understanding unite this garland and add to its beauty.

        Oh Lord! Lead all of us from ignorance toward knowledge.

        Oh Lord! Remove the darkness of our minds and fill our lives with the golden radiance of your devotion and love of humanity.

        Om. Peace. Peace. Peace.

— B.C. Sharma, Chief priest, Hindu Society of Greater Cincinnati

        Almighty God, as we come to this national week of prayer, we lift our minds and hearts to you.

        Please continue your many blessings upon our nation, our neighborhoods, our families and ourselves.

        In this time of distrust, unrest and tension, inspire each of us to be worthy of your generosity by learning to forgive all who have wronged us instead of our seeking vengeance or even justice.

        Bless fourfold anyone whom we have sinned against intentionally or inadvertently.

        We ask this through Christ Our Lord.


— The Rev. Richard L. Klug, Annunciation Roman Catholic Church

        Our Father.

        We are glad Your Son Jesus told us how to address you, which means we have many sisters and brothers of all races, colors and creeds.

        I am thankful that you opened my blinded eyes and let me see all of my brothers and sisters, not just the ones in my family, congregation and race.

        There is unity of everyone; and as ambassadors of Christ we are supposed to let people on earth know what heaven is like.

        Not only did you show us in the Bible what we must do for our brothers and sisters, but you dwell in us to do it for us.

        As we pray today on the National Day of Prayer, we hope everyone will pray for everyone, so we can all get along.

        It is in the name of your Son Jesus, who died for us all, we pray.


The Rev. Walter D. Buckner, Miami Baptist Church

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