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Prayer for Darfur

Friday 15th September 2006

The Archbishop of Canterbury has joined other faith leaders in expressing renewed concern for Darfur and has published a prayer for Sunday 17th September 2006, designated as an International Day of Prayer for the region.

Dr Rowan Williams reflected on his visit to Sudan earlier this year saying:

"In my visit to Sudan in March I saw people who had endured so much hatred and harm, and yet with the end of war in the south sought to return home, to rebuild quickly and work again for the future of their families and communities. It was their faith that sustained them, and the concerted efforts of faith communities, aid agencies and governments together that enabled truce first and then peace to be agreed.

"We do well to reflect on that experience of southern Sudan as we pray for Darfur today. We are all under judgement in how we exercise the power we have, whether it is great or small. When in Matthew's gospel the disciples asked Jesus when they visited him in prison, or when they saw him naked or hungry, he replied, "When you clothed, visited and fed the least of your brothers and sisters you did so to me."

"So my prayer as a Christian is that we may live internationally as we seek to live locally: that we are all children of God, with no more or less value in the eyes of God than those whose names and villages we do not know."

The full text of the prayer is as follows:

Heavenly Father,

We pray for those whose lives are lived on the margins of nations and suffer from the wars that others fight around them.

We pray for the warring factions, that they may see themselves under the gaze of God and those who suffer for their cause.

We pray for the peoples of Darfur who are haunted by fear of violence, hunger and hopelessness, that they may continue to be fed, visited and defended.

We pray for the work of peacekeepers, negotiators and the humanitarian organisations that security may prevail.

We pray for the Government of Sudan and for her unity.

We pray for peace in the name of him who is the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord.


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