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A Christian, Muslim and Jew
pray for peace among nations

New York, January 12, 2009 -- Leaders of three faiths that trace their origins back to a common ancestor -- the Patriarch Abraham -- joined their hearts and pens today to form a common prayer for peace between Israel, Gaza and among all nations.

Rabbi Steve Gutow of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon of the National Council of Churches USA, and Dr. Sayeed Sayid of the Islamic Society of North America, acknowledged having "different views" as to how to end the confrontation between Israel and Gaza, said they looked "to the power that is greater than any of us can even contemplate" to ask for peace in the Middle East.

The full text of their prayer follows:

The three of us come from different religions and have different views regarding how to best solve the problems faced in the confrontation between Israel and Hamas. In many arenas we have found ways to work together but not yet in this situation. We look to the power that is greater than any of us can even contemplate and ask that power to help us find peace among the nations. Below is our unified prayer.

Dear Lover of humanity and all creation, we come to you because we trust in your power and take comfort in your compassion.        

Our world is in chaos.        

Your children suffer greatly        

      in Afghanistan and Darfur, in Burma, the Congo and Sri Lanka, and the Middle East is a place of soul-wrenching strife.        

 With no end in sight and no reason for easy hope, You are the One to whom we turn.        

 Strengthen us, Merciful God,       

      to act and to know that our acting matters:        

raising awareness at home of suffering in distant places, advocating for peace instead of violence, bringing together those who have been estranged, trying, ourselves, to see the world as others see it.        

Fill us, we pray, with the vision
  
     of a time when children are not killed in war, and in which the neighbor's wellbeing is a first priority.        

 We have not always agreed on decisions involving war and peace; but we do agree the you are on the side of those who suffer, and that peacemaking is our ultimate vocation.        

 We pray in different ways and languages; but we each long to hear your voice and to discern the way You wish us to travel.        

      Blessed are you, Holy One!        

      May your will for peace prevail!        

      Amen.


NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228, NCCnews@ncccusa.org


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