Here is the prayer for Day 5 for a Week of Prayer for Syria. The prayer campaign is being organized by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.
(Phrases in quotes in the prayers have been sent to Aid to the Church in Need from people in Syria. Some of the authors are named, others must remain anonymous.)
Prayer and Intercession for Peace in Syria
God of Compassion,
Hear the cries of the people of Syria
Comfort those who suffer violence
Console those who mourn the dead
Give strength to Syria’s neighbouring countries to welcome the refugees
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms
And protect those who are committed to peace.
God of hope,
Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence and to seek reconciliation with their enemies
Inflame the Universal Church with compassion for the people of Syria
And give us hope for a future built on justice for all
We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and Light of the world.
Fifth day: Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms, and protect those who work for peace
“The most dramatic thing is the absence of dialogue in the last three years, the anguish and desperation that are taking root in this people.”
It’s now been more than two years of fighting and conflict. Who now remembers that at the beginning, the aim was to fight against injustice, the lack of liberty, oppression? The opposing fronts of the conflict have hardened. What began as a civil war has become an international issue, but in an unhelpful way. Economic and geopolitical interests are winning a battle far removed from the aims of the Syrian people.
“May the war end and may we be able to go home,” the Syrian children pray day after day. That is all they want. That is all they long for, that the war would end.
We pray for the political leaders of the country and the whole world, so that they decide to seek peace and the good of the country, so that they stop considering their own interests and power. We pray for the people who are working for peace, working to alleviate the sorrow of the Syrian people, working to dry their tears, so that they do not grow weary in their labor, despite threats from within and indifference from around the world. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for Syria, pray for us.