International Day of non-Violence.2 Oct each year

The United Nations has designated Oct. 2, Gandhi’s birthday, as International Nonviolence Day.

Prayer Service-Prayer for Nonviolence

LEADER: Each day we are inundated by images and experiences of violence: international war and oppression, aggression and fighting in our cities and furious words hurled by complete strangers. Within our health care facilities, we see the wretched results of sexual and domestic violence wreaked upon innocent and vulnerable persons. Amid these disturbing images, let us today together reflect upon the peace and nonviolence to which those who trust in God’s presence are called. Let us recall that our strength and our ministry come from God.

READER 1: A reading from the Gospel of Luke 12:4-8.

I tell you my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.

LEADER: God is our refuge and strength
An ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
And the mountains fall into the sea.
ALL: God is our refuge and our strength.

LEADER: There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
ALL: God is our refuge and our strength.

LEADER: The Lord Almighty is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress.
ALL: God is our refuge and our strength.

LEADER: He says “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
ALL: God is our refuge and our strength.

READER 2: From the words of Mahatma Gandhi:

“Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of humanity. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of humanity. Nonviolence is not passivity in any shape or form. It is the most active force in the world…The more you develop it in your own being, the more infectious it becomes till it overwhelms your surroundings and by and by might oversweep the world. We have to make truth and nonviolence not matters for mere individual practice, but for practice by groups and communities and nations. That, at any rate is my dream. When the practice of nonviolence becomes universal, God will reign on earth as God reigns in heaven.” (From Mohandas Gandhi: Essential Writings)

LEADER: Let us lift up in prayer those places and people who suffer from violence and destruction. After each petition, please respond:
God of love and gentleness, hear our prayer.

(Pause for prayers from listeners and responses)

LEADER: Let us bring our prayers to our loving God in the words that Jesus taught us:

ALL: Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
Amen.
(Source: Sr. Patricia Talone, CHAUSA)

Prayer Services for International Day of Nonviolence
Opening: Song of peace

Leader: In the name of the God of peace, the nonviolent Jesus, and the Holy Spirit of love.

Let us take a minute in silence to give thanks for all the blessings of love and peace that we have received throughout our lives from the God of love and peace. Let us ask God to forgive us for all the ways we have rejected those blessings of love and peace, all the ways we have chosen violence instead of nonviolence, all the ways we have hurt others and supported the culture of violence and war. Let us repent of our violence and ask for the grace to become people of Gospel nonviolence.
(Silence)
Please respond: “God of Peace, have mercy on us.”
Jesus, you renounced violence, loved everyone, practiced nonviolence, embodied peace, resisted injustice, and gave your life in perfect nonviolent love for humanity. God of peace, have mercy on us.
“God of Peace, have mercy on us.”
Jesus, you call us to renounce violence, love everyone, practiced nonviolence, oppose war, dismantle nuclear weapons, resist injustice, embody peace and love our enemies. “God of Peace, have mercy on us.”
“God of Peace, have mercy on us.”
(all recite) Prayer
God of peace, be with us now as we repent of our violence and
hear your word of peace. Help us to become your holy people of Gospel nonviolence, that we might follow the nonviolent Jesus, love one another, love our enemies, reconcile with everyone, resist injustice and pursue a new world without war, poverty, nuclear weapons, global warming or violence. We ask this in the name of the nonviolent Jesus, our brother and our peace.

First Reading: a selection from the words of Mahatma Gandhi.
“Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of humanity. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of humanity. Nonviolence is not passivity in any shape or form. It is the most active force in the world. Nonviolence is the supreme law. Just as one must learn the art of killing in the training for violence, so one must learn the art of dying in the training for nonviolence. One person who can express nonviolence in life exercises a force superior to all the forces of brutality. We are constantly being astonished these days at the amazing discoveries in the field of violence, but I maintain that far more undreamt of and seemingly impossible discoveries will be made in the field of nonviolence. My optimism rests on my belief in the infinite possibility of the individual to develop nonviolence. The more you develop it in your own being, the more infectious it becomes till it overwhelms your surroundings and by might over sweep the world. We have to make truth and nonviolence not matters for mere individual practice, but for practice by groups and communities and nations. That, at any rate, is my dream. When the practice of nonviolence becomes universal, God will reign on earth as God reigns in heaven.”
(Mohandas Gandhi: Essential Writings)

Silent reflection

Second Reading: Luke 6:27-36
“But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.

Silent reflection

Lord’s Prayer

A Pledge of nonviolence
Leader: I invite all those who are ready to recite together this pledge of nonviolence; we will try to practice and live the nonviolence of Jesus for the rest of our lives:
In the name of the God of peace and the nonviolent Jesus,
I pledge today to live, practice and teach the nonviolence of Jesus,
To renounce violence and not to cooperate with the world’s violence;
To love every one as my sister and brother;
To respond with love and not to retaliate with violence;
To forgive those who have hurt me and to reconcile with everyone;
To accept suffering as I work for justice, rather than inflict further suffering;
To live more simply, at one with all creation;
To work with others for the abolition of war, poverty, nuclear weapons, global warming and all violence;
To follow the nonviolent Jesus on the way of the cross into the new life of resurrection, knowing that my life is in God’s hands, that life, love and peace are stronger than death, hatred, and war;
To seek God’s reign of nonviolence for the rest of my life; And to promote and teach the Gospel message of nonviolence.
May the God of peace give me the grace and strength to fulfill this pledge and make me instrument of God’s peace.

Closing prayer
Leader: Let us pray. (Moment of silence)
God of peace, thank you for calling us to follow the nonviolent Jesus on the road to peace. Help us to become your holy people of Gospel nonviolence. Disarm our hearts that we might be instrument of you disarming love. Make our church a community of Gospel nonviolence that rejects war and radiates our love and peace. Bless us to love one another and our enemies, to reconcile with everyone, to resist injustice and spread the practice of nonviolence. Give us a new world without war, poverty, nuclear weapons, global warming or violence. Give us your reign of nonviolence, here and now. We ask this in the name of the nonviolent Jesus, our brother and our peace.

Closing blessing (all bless themselves and one another)

Leader: May the God of peace who loves you infinitely bless you abundantly, the Creator of peace, the Christ of peace, and the Holy Spirit of peace. Amen.

Closing song of peace

(Source: SSPS USA)

Prayer for International Day of Non-Violence

Welcome/Introduction

(Leader) In the name of the God of peace, the nonviolent Jesus, and the Holy Spirit of love.

Welcome to this prayer service for International Nonviolence Day. Let’s begin by taking a moment and turning to those around us and introducing ourselves…..

I invite you to take a deep breath and relax, to notice how you are feeling today, and to enter into the presence of the God of peace who loves you infinitely, unconditionally. I invite you to welcome the risen, nonviolent Jesus into our community of peace and into our hearts, and to breathe in his Holy Spirit of peace and nonviolence.

Let’s take a minute in silence to give thanks for all the blessings of love and peace that we have received throughout our lives by the God of love and peace, and let’s ask God to forgive us for all the ways we have rejected those blessings of love and peace, all the ways we have chosen violence instead of nonviolence, all the ways we have hurt others and supported the culture of violence and war. Let’s repent of our violence and ask for the grace to become people of Gospel nonviolence. (Silence)

Please respond, “God of Peace, have mercy on us.”

Jesus, you renounced violence, loved everyone, practiced nonviolence, embodied peace, resisted injustice, and gave your life in perfect nonviolent love for humanity. God of peace, have mercy on us.

“God of peace, have mercy on us.”
Jesus, you call us to renounce violence, love everyone, practice nonviolence, oppose war, dismantle nuclear weapons, resist injustice, embody peace and love our enemies, God of peace, have mercy on us.

“God of peace, have mercy on us.”
Jesus, you are our Lord and Savior, our Brother and friend, our life, our hope, our peace, God of peace, have mercy on us.

“God of peace, have mercy on us.”

Opening Prayer (All Recite)

God of peace, be with us now as we repent of our violence and hear your word of peace. Help us to become your holy people of Gospel nonviolence, that we might follow the nonviolent Jesus, love one another, love our enemies, reconcile with everyone, resist injustice and pursue a new world without war, poverty, nuclear weapons, global warming or violence, your reign of nonviolence in our midst. We ask this in the name of the nonviolent Jesus, our brother and our peace.

First Reading: Isaiah 2:2-5.

Psalm Response
(Leader) Our Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 46. Please respond: “God puts an end to wars.”

“God puts an end to wars.”
God is our refuge and our strength,
An ever present help when we are in trouble;
So we shall not be afraid though the earth be in turmoil,
Though mountains tumble into the depths of the sea,
and its waters roar and seethe, and the mountains quake.
The God of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
“God puts an end to wars.”

There is a river whose streams bring joy to God’s city.
It sanctifies the dwelling of the Most High.
God is in the city, it cannot fall.
At break of day, God comes to the rescue.
Nations are in an uproar, kingdoms are tumbling,
And when God raises God’s voice, the earth crumbles.
The God of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
“God puts an end to wars.”

Come, consider the wonders of the God of peace,
The astounding deeds God has done on the earth.
God puts an end to wars over the whole wide world.
God breaks the bow, God snaps the spear,
God burns the shields in the fire.
“God puts an end to wars.”

“Be still and know that I am God, supreme over the nations,
Supreme over the world.”
The God of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
“God puts an end to wars.”

Second Reading: from the words of Mahatma Gandhi.

“Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of humanity. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of humanity. Nonviolence is not passivity in any shape or form. It is the most active force in the world. Nonviolence is the supreme law. Just as one must learn the art of killing in the training for violence, so one must learn the art of dying in the training for nonviolence. One person who can express nonviolence in life exercises a force superior to all the forces of brutality. We are constantly being astonished these days at the amazing discoveries in the field of violence, but I maintain that far more undreamt of and seemingly impossible discoveries will be made in the field of nonviolence. My optimism rests on my belief in the infinite possibilities of the individual to develop nonviolence. The more you develop it in your own being, the more infectious it becomes till it overwhelms your surroundings and by and by might oversweep the world. We have to make truth and nonviolence not matters for mere individual practice, but for practice by groups and communities and nations. That, at any rate, is my dream. When the practice of nonviolence becomes universal, God will reign on earth as God reigns in heaven.”
[From Mohandas Gandhi: Essential Writings,” edited by John Dear, Orbis Books, New York, 2002.]

Third Reading: Luke 6:27-36

Silent Reflection After the Readings

Intercessory Prayers for Nonviolence

(Leader) Please respond, “God of Peace, hear our prayer.”

* That we might become people of Gospel nonviolence, who allow God to disarm our hearts of the violence within us, that we might be nonviolent to ourselves and to every person we meet for the rest of our lives, we pray:

“God of Peace, hear our prayer.”
* That we might practice nonviolence as Jesus did, come to understand his creative nonviolence, and obey his commandments of nonviolence: “put down our sword,” “be as compassionate as God,” and “love your enemies,” we pray:

“God of Peace, hear our prayer.”
* That we might come to know and worship God as a God of peace and nonviolence, who “makes the sun rise on the good and the bad, and causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust,” that we might become peacemakers who help end war and create a culture of nonviolence, and so, fulfill our vocations to be the beloved sons and daughters of the God of peace, we pray:

“God of Peace, hear our prayer.”
* For the church, that it might be a global community of Gospel nonviolence, that it might never bless violence or justify war again, that it might support and bless nonviolent campaigns for justice and peace, and that it might always teach, practice and model the nonviolence of Jesus, we pray:

“God of Peace, hear our prayer.”
* For an end to war, poverty, starvation, racism, sexism, executions, torture, abortion, nuclear weapons, global warming and violence of every kind, we pray:

“God of Peace, hear our prayer.”
* For the coming of a new generation of peacemakers, for new teachers, prophets, apostles, champions and saints of Gospel nonviolence, who will help the world turn from violence to nonviolence, who will lead us to reject war and nuclear weapons, reconcile with one another and create new culture of peace and nonviolence, we pray:

“God of Peace, hear our prayer.”
* Please add your own petitions [either in silence, or out loud, depending on the group].

(Leader) God of peace, thank you for hearing our prayers, all the prayers in our hearts and all the prayers of the whole human race, and we offer them in the name of the nonviolent Jesus. AMEN.

The Lord’s Prayer

(Leader) Before we recite the Lord’s Prayer together, and ask for the coming of God’s reign of nonviolence on earth and for God’s forgiveness, let’s take a moment of silence to recall everyone whoever hurt us, and let’s forgive them all, so that we will be ready to ask God to forgive us “as we forgive those who trespass against us.”(Silence)

All recite the Lord’s prayer together out loud.

A Pledge of nonviolence

(Leader) I invite all those who are ready to recite together this pledge of nonviolence, that we will try to practice and live the nonviolence of Jesus for the rest of our lives:

In the name of the God of peace and nonviolent Jesus,
I pledge today to live, practice and teach the nonviolence of Jesus,
to renounce violence and to non-cooperate with the world’s violence;
to love every one as my sister and brother;
to respond with love and not to retaliate with violence;
to forgive those who have hurt me and reconcile with everyone;
to accept suffering as I work for justice, rather than inflict further suffering;
to live more simply, at one with all creation;
to work with others for the abolition of war, poverty, nuclear weapons, global warming and all violence;
to follow the nonviolent Jesus on the way of the cross into the new life of resurrection, knowing that my life is in God’s hands, that life, love and peace are stronger than death, hatred and war;
to seek God’s reign of nonviolence for the rest of my life;
and to promote and teach the Gospel message of nonviolence.
May the God of peace give me the grace and strength to fulfill this pledge and make me an instrument of God’s peace. Amen.

Closing prayer

(Leader) Let us pray….God of peace, thank you for calling us to follow the nonviolent Jesus on the road to peace. Help us to become your holy people of Gospel nonviolence. Disarm our hearts that we might be instruments of your disarming love. Make our church a community of Gospel nonviolence, that rejects war and radiates your love and peace. Bless us to love one another and our enemies, to reconcile with everyone, to resist injustice and spread the practice of nonviolence. Give us a new world without war, poverty, nuclear weapons, global warming or violence. Give us your reign of nonviolence, here and now. We ask this in the name of the nonviolent Jesus, our brother and our peace.

Closing blessing

(Leader) May the God of peace who loves you infinitely bless you abundantly, the Creator of peace, the Christ of peace, and the Holy Spirit of peace.

AMEN.

After a closing song of peace, all are invited to offer each other a sign of peace.

(Source: John Deer)

Prayer for a Nonviolent Life
God of peace, thank you for being gentle, loving, compassionate, and nonviolent! You are so nonviolent that you do not force yourself upon us, but gently call us to your wisdom and way of nonviolence. You give us the freedom to do as we will. Help us to do your will of peace, to choose your way of nonviolence. Help us to live a nonviolent life, to become your holy people of nonviolence, to welcome your reign of peace and nonviolence here on earth.

Help me to be nonviolent to myself. Give me the grace to let go of violence, to love and accept myself, to treat myself nonviolently, to cultivate inner peace, and to dwell in your peace. Send your Holy Spirit of peace upon me that I might live in relationship with you as your beloved child, that I might know your love and healing peace, love you in return and honor you by taking care of myself and being nonviolent to myself for the rest of my life.

Help me to practice loving nonviolence toward everyone I know and meet, that I might love my neighbor as myself, and never hurt anyone ever again. Help me to be nonviolent to all creatures and all creation, that I may spread your peace far and wide to all sentient beings, to your beautiful creation. Give me a heart as wide as the world that I might love everyone around the world, even those targeted as “enemies” by my nation. Open my heart to love every human being as my sister and brother, that I might practice your universal nonviolent love from now on.

Help me to serve your reign of peace by joining the global grassroots movement of nonviolence. Make me an instrument of your peace, that I might do my part to help abolish war, poverty, hunger, racism, sexism, executions, nuclear weapons, systemic injustice and environmental destruction, and welcome your nonviolent reign of peace with justice here on earth. Bless this grassroots movement of nonviolence with your wisdom, your determination, and your persistent action that we might see “justice roll down like waters” and welcome new breakthroughs of justice and peace every day.

As I follow the nonviolent Jesus on the path of peace and love, help me to claim my true identity as your beloved son/daughter, that I might always live in your peace and love, and serve your reign of peace and love, now and forever. Amen.
(Source: John Deer, Huffington Post)

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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