For a community, church, nation or world that are going through tough times, Psalm 85 looks with confidence to a God Who continues to encourage and embody incarnation. Some scholars suggest that there is an echo here in the Old Testament of what the angels sing in Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased!”
The writer of this psalm comes with the lament of the people but moves the song on to one of hope and blessing and the graciousness of God. This is an unequivocal word of peace spoken in God’s own voice.
Peace-loving and peace-giving God, you bless
us with your unfailing and unconditional love:
We come to worship and praise our loving God,
and rejoice in God’s tender mercy towards us.
Generous God, you pour blessings and grace
upon us, forgiving us for our sin and shame:
We come to worship and honour our merciful God,
and rejoice in the wonder of forgiven and forgotten sin.
Holy God, in the beauty of your shalom, and in
the glory of your presence, all barriers are lowered:
We come to worship and revere our glorious God,
who enriches the lives of God’s own people and
speaks peace into the hearts of all faithful people. Amen.
Its an anthem for the persecuted church. In around 60 countries Christians are currently persecuted for their faith, and a friend who heads up an organisation dedicated to their support challenged Graham Kendrick to write a song expressing solidarity with them. He drew inspiration from the prayer for he martyrs in the Apostle John’s vision in the book of Revelation. The song was launched at a prayer event sponsored by Release International and Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
speak your peace to your people, gathered virtually in Jesus’ name.
We confess that our faithfulness to you,
our obedience to your calling,
our righteousness is not steadfast and true.
In living out our praise, we too easily falter after the first page.
Were it not for the lavish gift of your Son, we would be lost.
Through him, however, we turn to you in our hearts,
knowing your steadfast love and faithfulness,
your righteousness and peace.
In him your salvation is at hand.
We thank you.
May this worship and time of prayer reflect your goodness,
as we respond to you with our heart, soul, and mind.
Make a path through the middle of Your church here in Bellshill today,
and walk among us through your Holy Spirit.
This we pray in the name of the One who is your peace, your salvation—
Jesus Christ. Amen.
Beloved, how gracious You are to your people;
You restore their souls time and time again.
You forgive their distractions
when they wander far from You;
You give them new life.
Yes, You bless them and raise up new hope;
You awaken their hearts to love.
Restore us again, O Spirit of Truth;
burn us with the refining Fire of Love!
We cannot live separated from You;
cast out the demons of fear, doubt, and illusion.
Revive us again, we pray; may your people rejoice in You!
Have compassion on your people, O Holy One,
and grant us your forgiveness.
Listen, O People, in the silent Chapel of your heart;
and the Beloved will speak of peace to you,
to the hidden saints, to all who turn their hearts to Love.
Surely new life is at hand for those who reverence Love;
O, that harmony might dwell among the nations.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will embrace one another.
Wisdom will spring up from the ground
and truth will look down from the sky.
Yes, the Eternal Giver will grant what is good,
and the lands will yield abundantly.
Mercy and compassion are Love’s way;
You will guide our footsteps upon the path of peace
as we recognize with open hearts that You are our peace.
1 You, Lord, showed favour to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins.[b]
3 You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.
4 Restore us again, God our Saviour,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
8 I will listen to what God the Lord says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.
Lord, you were favourable to your land.
You restored our fortunes.
You forgave the iniquity of your people.
You pardoned all our sin.
Restore us again,
O God of our salvation.
Will you not revive us again,
so we may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord.
Grant us your salvation.
Let us hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful,
to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet.
Righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground.
Righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good.
Our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him
and make a path for his steps.
Prayers of Intercession and Lord’s Prayer
Lift up your eyes! Look around.
Where does our help come from?
Our help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
God will not let you stumble and fall;
the One who watches over you
will never slumber or sleep.
God will keep safe from all of life’s evils;
from your first breath to the last breath you breathe,
from this day forward and forever.
So we go in peace to love and serve God and our neighbours.