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Peter Marshall: Prayers

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God, have pity upon us.

We want peace without pain and security without sacrifice.

We want peace but not the perils of peacemaking.

O God, may we learn what love is.



God, give us the grace to take things as they are

And to make them what they ought to be.



O God, we pray for a broader vision of the needs of humanity, and a deeper compassion to fill those needs; for a planting of the seeds of concern for all humanity in our hearts; for a tapping of the wells of generosity.

May we live together as people who have been forgiven a great debt.

May we be gentle, walking softly with one another.

May we be understanding, lest we shall add to the world’s sorrow or cause to flow needless tears.

May we be as anxious for the rights of others as we are for our own.

May we be as eager to forgive as we are to seek forgiveness.

May we know no barriers of creed or race or sex, that our love may be like Yours—a love that sees all people as Your children and our kin.

May we be ministers of humanity.

Peter Marshall (1902-1949) was a poor Scottish immigrant who came to the U.S at the age of 24 and became a famous Presbyterian minister and twice chaplain of the U.S. Senate. His wife, author Catherine Marshall, popularized Marshall’s sermons and life story in several books, including A Man Called Peter, which was later made into an Oscar-winning film.