Litanies & Prayers

Testimony in a Time of Terror

Standing with the Word of God, for the earth and against the world: A litany for worship

by Ken Sehested

Our nation is at war, and our hearts are torn. The seeds of fear are planted in terror and harvested in violence.

How long, O Lord, how long?

The dream of a new order birthed in justice and baptized in mercy has been ruptured by the nightmare of bloody enmity.

But we still have our dreams, hard-won dreams, purchased with a price, beckoning us forward.

The time is coming, says Sister Hannah, when “The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. The Lord raises up the poor from the dust; God lifts the needy from the ash heap, to inherit a seat of honor.” (1 Samuel 2: 1-8)

May it be so with us, according to your word.

One day, says Brother Isaiah, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”  (Isaiah 11:3-9)

We long for the day when “every boot of the trampling warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire.”  (Isaiah 9:6, 7)

Lean into the age, says the Beloved, when nations “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Micah 4:3-4)

On that day the lame shall be restored, the outcast will be gathered, and God will change their shame into praise.  (Zephaniah 3:19)

Our hearts ache for that future—as Jesus declared—when the People of God will again be anointed with the power to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind ,

. . . to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.  (Luke 4:18-19)

We testify to the coming “new heaven and new earth,” when God “will wipe away every tear, and death shall be no more.” (Revelation 21:1-4)

Oh Promised Hope of Heaven, today we stand ready to be instruments of your peace: in our homes and in the streets, with all fleshly bodies and with the earth itself.

And now may the One whose presence is promised through every siege and trial and darkest night cause you to rejoice and be glad.

Alleluia! Thanks be to God!

©ken sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org