The United States is currently involved in one of the longest wars of its history. This summer marks the 63rd anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War: June 25, 1950. Officially, the state of war never ended as the US forces only singed an armistice agreement on July 27th in 1953, which makes this year the 60th anniversary of the armistice. US media dramatized North Korea’s statement that it considers itself in a state of war in March 2013, but this state of war has been the reality ever since 1950. There has been no peace treaty since the armistice for 60 years. Let us join in prayer that all parties involved now take steps toward releasing the Korean Peninsula from a constant state of war, and working on a viable peace treaty.
This prayer is for members of the PC(USA) denomination and the season of prayer we are called to in the latest statement on the Peace of the Korean Peninsula. I believe this is a kairos moment, where many pieces are coming together at the right time, when people with a passion for peace in Korea are coming together and hoping to raise their voices all as one. I invite you to use this prayer as you like and join your voices with a growing chorus:
God of the universe, God of the nations,
The people of the Korean Peninsula are crying out,
They no longer wish to live in the shadow of war,
They no longer wish to have resources diverted from life toward death,
They no longer wish to live in fear of the next possible misjudgment in calculation and rhetoric,
They yearn for healing and truth,
You call us to be a people of light, of life, and of peace,
But we have stood silent as our country perpetuates the machinations of death, darkness, and war.
How long, O Lord, must the Korean people live in a state of war?
We confess that we stood by and watched as we split an unwilling country into two,
We confess that those we voted into office ignored the context of a people tired of colonization,
We confess that our military has taken advantage of Korean gratitude,
We confess that our SOFA agreement denies justice to all those harmed by our representatives,
We confess that military presence comes hand in hand with the presence of brothels and sex trade,
We confess that we would much rather pretend this is “their problem,”
We confess that we believe we have no responsibility,
We confess that we hope to continue a policy of isolation despite its ineffectiveness,
We confess that we find it easier to continue the tired old song of hostility than to boldly move toward peace,
Help lead us into a future with the possibility of life,
A future where tools of death are laid down and the call of life,
Rise up a passion for justice, for peace, and for advocacy in your children,
Give our leaders the creativity to find new effective steps toward peace,
Give us the will to reunite families,
Help us lift up the voices of peace within the Korean Peninsula,
Gracious God of forgiveness and healing,
May we be transformed into effective agents in partnership with the people of Korea in making your Heavenly Commonwealth of Peace a reality on this planet.