We hear so much about violence because there is so much of it in our culture and in the world. Somehow we manage simultaneously to fear violence and to glorify it; forgive us for our fascination with it and for our acceptance of it. Help us to do better at understanding it, at resisting it, and at lessening it. Help us to pursue the kind of relationship with you, with ourselves, and with each other that will make for genuine peace in our own lives and in the communities of which we are a part.
Protect us from the violence that could be done to us.
Protect us even more from the even greater danger of the violence that we can do to ourselves and to others.
Protect us from attitudes and assumptions that cause us to think more of ourselves and of our kind than we ought and to think less of others than we ought. Protect us from words that are born of a need to be defensive that leads us to be offensive in the use of our words against others. Protect us from our tendency to think that because we are relatively safe and secure that we need have no concern about other peoples’ lack of safety and security.
Give us such peace with you, with ourselves, and with others that our default setting is one of love, grace, kindness, acceptance, and openness toward everybody and especially toward the person who is right in front of us at any given time. Give us such security in you that we genuinely have no fear of what any other person can do to us. Give us an attitude toward life that refuses to live in fear and that refuses to accept a world in which anyone has to live in fear.