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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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March 16, 2007

Peace-by-piece


Last weekend I attended WomenSpeak 2007, a remarkable gathering of more than 1,000 women from 35 states and many other countries that turned our hearts and minds to issues of being and bringing blessings to our world.

One of the women I met is Barbara Taylor of Hannibal, Mo., who selected photos of people and places in each of the 198 countries around the globe to illustrate the prayers for peace that Nan Merrill, also of Hannibal, had written for each. A small spiral book called Peace Planet: Light for Our World is the fruit of this collaboration. Barbara told me how helpless and overwhelmed she had been by the thought of praying for peace—until Nan’s specific focus, country by country, made it possible for her to hold the people of each nation in her mind and heart. And then she wanted to see the sisters and brothers, the land itself. And so she found the images to match Nan’s words.

Today I started praying with this book, beginning at the back with the last country—Zimbabwe. Today in this beautiful and beleaguered country CNN.com reports that the opposition party leader Morgan Tsvangirai suffered a concussion at the hand of the police, blocking the attempts by protestors of President Robert Mugabe repressive rule to hold a peace and prayer rally. This is the prayer:

We, the citizens of the world, are invited to Serve in the Plan for lasting peace, a new Earth-garden, to work and live the principles of peace inherent in every hear. Let us unreservedly and with confidence commit ourselves to Peace. We are asking, may Commitment to Peace on Earth flourish.

And let the people say, Amen!

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