Prayer for peace in the Nagorno-Karabakh region

In the midst of the continuing escalation of conflict and violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ offers this prayer for peace.  We join the voices of ecumenical organizations and partners seeking an immediate end to the crisis.

Loving and merciful God, we come to you today with prayers for peace and for a cessation of violent conflict.  We watch with pain as hundreds of people have already been killed, victims in renewed fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, between Armenia and Azerbaijan.  And we are concerned that fighting will escalate, drawing in other powers that would only cause immeasurable suffering for innocent people.

Caring Christ, Prince of Peace, just as you walk with us in our times of joy and tribulation, we walk with partners around the world, including our Armenian brothers and sisters, who are deeply concerned about their neighbors, the people of Artsakh – many of whom are Armenian by heritage themselves – as they seek to assert their own sovereignty where they can pursue a life of freedom and prosperity.  We hear the cries of our Armenian partners, who know intimately the pain and suffering of the atrocity of war, and we heed their call for an end to Azeri aggression.

Holy Spirit, Breath of Life, we come to you with our fervent petition that leaders – especially those who have chosen war, injury, and death over justice and peace, healing, and life – come to see that the ways of self-interest and zero-sum conquest only result in the violation of the sanctity of life; and that they may choose a better way: one of mutual edification, common interest, and recognition and acceptance that another’s security enables one’s own ability to thrive.

In this time of heightened tension, fighting, and destruction, we pray for calm, a cooling off, and a constructive effort, by those directly engaged, and by world leaders, to bring about an end to fighting, a resolution of outstanding issues, and a commitment to peace with justice.  We know that it is the most vulnerable who suffer the worst in times of war, and we know that your heart, o God, is in pain for them.  We seek healing: of people, of peoples, and of nations, and that you, o God, can open hearts and minds.

For all of this we fervently pray, Amen.

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