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‘Move us to build a world of justice’

Remembering 9/11

Astana, Kazakhstan, September 11, 2006 The following prayer was offered by the Rev. Michael Livingston, president of the National Council of Churches USA, at an interfaith gathering at the US Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan. The event was hosted by the US Ambassador to Kazakhstan. 

Let us pray:

Almighty God, creator of our entire world, in whose image we are all fearfully and wonderfully made:  Accept our thanks for the gift of life and inspire us to demonstrate our gratitude with renewed energy and dedication; in acts of solidarity, justice and grace that reflect your steadfast love for all, especially the least among us. 

We gather on the occasion of the anniversary of a fateful day in the recent history of the world.  We mourn, again, the sudden loss of so many lives on September 11, 2001 and the traumatic effect of those losses on their loved ones and a nation unfamiliar within its borders, with the terror of so misguided an act of barbarity against innocent individuals in the course of an ordinary day. Loving God, continue to bring healing and wholeness to all those whose lives were forever changed that awful day. 

God of history, even as we remember the death and deep pain inflicted by such desperate acts, we acknowledge our own participation in a world community that has failed to accept and celebrate our common humanity.  We fail one another: when one child goes hungry anywhere in the world, when one person is persecuted for adherence to a particular religion or no religion at all, when preventable diseases cause one unnecessary death, when air and water are polluted or exploited for economic gain.           

Merciful God, we are none of us innocent.  And if we share responsibility for the harm we have done to one another in the past—sometimes in the name of religion—then surely we share responsibility for our common future.  Help us ) God, to resolve to know one another, as you know us; to accept one another, as you accept us, to love one another, as you love us.           

Let the memory of 9/11 move us to build a world of justice without exploitation; of peace without violence; of joy at the sheer wonder of life on this beautiful planet; of community that celebrates the great diversity that is our divine gift.             

God of signs and wonders, move among us as a healing spirit, binding our wounds, forgiving us our debts, reconciling our differences.  One world, one God of many names, hear our prayer.  Amen. 

Contact NCC News: Rev. Daniel Webster, 212-870-2252,
Picture of Kazakhstan church by
Picture of Michael Livingston by Kathleen Cameron

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