This Week's Prayer

Mystery of Life,

We are touched with awe at the resilience of life – in its adaptability and in its capacity sometimes not to change at all. This week, scientists identified what may be the oldest living species on Earth – a microscopic deep-sea bacteria in the mud off the South American Pacific coast. It hasn’t evolved in more than two billion years. New species emerge, and, in the last century, many more have become extinct. Yet there is also, deep in the mud, a life unchanging and enduring.

Our lives are such brief flashes, and we struggle to bring peace to our species, to realize harmony with all of life.

Islamic State forces killed a captive Jordanian pilot, burning him alive. Muslim leaders throughout the world declared the act to be heinous and against the teachings of the Koran. In retaliation, Jordan executed a number of Islamic extremists.

Mystery of life, may we find a way.

A United Nations report says Iraqi children are becoming victims of “systematic sexual abuse, including sexual slavery” in areas controlled by the Islamic State.

Mystery of life, may we find a way.

Fighting has been escalating in Ukraine. Chad has deployed 2,500 troops against the Boko Haram militants in northern Nigeria.

Mystery of life, may we find a way.

In Malawi, more than 300,000 people have been displaced by the worst flooding in 15 years, with many cut off from any aid. In South Sudan, there are still more than 2 million displaced by the fighting.

Mystery of life, we are your manifestation. From you we have this brief time. Your long evolution built us with conflicting impulses toward violence and toward peace. We play out your story in ways we cannot help. May we serve your harmony intentionally, in ways we can help.

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