There are many pictures which reflect the past six years of war in Iraq. Far too many show destruction, blood, and death. Today, even as U.S. military forces leave Iraqi cities, the conflicts and interests which have made Iraq a place of violence have not been transformed. Yet we look forward in hope that a step away from occupation is a step towards better governance for the people of Iraq, and a step towards healing some of the wounds of war.
God of justice and God of hope, lead the nations of Iraq and the United States of America to peace. Heal the wounds of warfare and of division, that your people may prosper. Thwart the aims of the wicked, and restrain the hands of those who seek to do violence. Help us to know the immense cost of war, and let us seek always to build rather than bomb. Strengthen us in the ways of peace and the bonds of reconciliation, that we might overcome the next temptation to attack, trusting in the goodness of your desire for us and your hope for the world. Amen.