Friday, 24 April 2015

An Anzac Day Prayer

The words “Lest we forget” came from a poem by Rudyard Kipling called The Recessional and were a reference taken from the Bible, where it says, “lest we forget the God of our forefathers.” They were written by Kipling at a time when the British Empire was very powerful and Kipling was reminding them to be humble and remember God. I think on ANZAC day when we say them they can mean all sorts of things to us but this was the original intent – to remember God.

Loving God

On this Anzac Day, 100 years on, we remember that your gift of life in this world is to be treasured by all people. We remember that you long for all people to live in peace; loving one another.  We also remember that so often because of our pride, our lack of understanding, our desire for power, or our fears we do not live loving and honouring one another as human beings. And for this we sorry and we pray: 

Lord God of hosts be with us yet, 
Lest we forget, lest we forget.

Lest we forget
That today commemorates a particular event in the life of not one nation but an event that many nations were involved in. It is a moment to mourn the dead and reflect deeply on how we are called beyond patriotism and hatred to love our fellow human beings.

Lest we forget
That too great a pride in one's nation and its place in the world can lead us to think less of other nations and so see them and their people as people to be opposed,exploited or ignored rather than treated as fellow human beings.

Lest we forget
That war is no game. That death should not be glorified. That wars and enmity are the opposite of your design for us as humans to live together in peace and friendship with one another.

Lest we forget
That when deep and dark decisions lead us into war with one another men and women and children die; and, many are left with physical and mental wounds that last their whole lifetime.

Lest we forget
That there are many innocent people who are drawn into war even though they do not fight: the conflict robs them of children, husbands, fathers, colleagues and friends.

Lest we forget
That we as human beings remain fickle and suffer from our forgetting of all we have learnt about war and its futility.  We know as we meet in safety wars continue to rage and Australians stand alongside people from many other nations and opposing people from many other nations.  We long for an end to war and the safe return of those who are on the front lines.

Lest we forget
That you are indeed a God of love who promises to be with us in all things and stay by our side, no matter what! That your deepest desire for us and all peoples of all nations is life and life in all its fullness.

On this Anzac Day, God of all nations, we remember all these things and we pray that through remembering you and your purpose for all humanity to live loving one another we will be transformed to be agents of peace; as we continue to mourn those who died and those who suffer because of wars: past, present and future.

God of peace, be with us yet,  
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

In Jesus name we pray


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