Prayers4Peace: Second Sunday of Lent 2024

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12: 1-2 (ESV)

Following Jesus, Together, Second Sunday of Lent 2024
Written by Rev. Marian Boyle Rohloff

Reading: Hebrews 12: 1-2

I remember reading history books about the arms races of the World Wars and Cold War era. No doubt, such races are still on the agendas of nations across the globe. A great investment of time, money, and other resources goes into such material races. Unfortunately, these races make for an anxious and tenuous peace at best and encourage the use of terrible violence at worst. What if instead, our time, resources, and energy could be directed toward a life-giving peace? 

The text from Hebrews 12:1-2 invites us to consider a different race and make a different investment. In faith, we are asked to run a race with perseverance, looking to Jesus. We look to one who refused to act in violence and, in doing so, showed us the type of race we are to run. By abiding by this, we are to run for the sake of the common good, considering the human cost that any war inflicts. We are to run away from an “us against them” mentality, instead turning our hearts to the needs of all people impacted by violence. We are to run towards justice and work to undo oppressions that break down our communities.    

The race we run in faith is one of prayerful action rooted in community. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) provides guidance for such unified action. This Lenten season, we could participate in weekly CMEP briefings to deepen our understanding of the issues and share in weekly prayer hosted by the CMEP. We can raise our voices in advocacy, asking our national leaders to halt exports of firearms to Israel and call for a ceasefire.  

By doing this together, we follow Jesus on paths that make for life-giving, life-sustaining peace. This demands our resources, action, time, and prayer. May we all consider this investment an embodiment of our commitment to this race for peace during this Lenten season.  

About the author: Rev. Marian Boyle-Rohloff is the pastor at West Side Moravian Church in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She serves on the Moravian Racial Justice Team, promoting pastoral pilgrimages to Montgomery, Alabama. She also holds a leadership role in Justice Organization Sharing Hope and United for Action (JOSHUA), which brings together faith leaders to lobby state legislators on issues of social justice. Boyle-Rohloff is also president of WISDOM, a statewide organization of mainly faith organizations that work toward social and racial justice. The Moravian Church is one of CMEP’s 30+ member communions. 

Please note any views or opinions contained in this devotional series are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP).

3 Comments On “Prayers4Peace: Second Sunday of Lent 2024”

  1. Please pray for Palestine, especially Gaza and the West Bank, along with Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen,
    all being bombed by the U.S. and Israel.

  2. Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon

    Lord God –

    Help us to be faithful to the words in Hebrews 12 – to “throw off” that which hinders … and to run the race that has been marked out for us … Might we run for the sake of the common good being obedient to God, seeking to be transformed into His goodness and likeness for the sake of others as we pursue peace and justice in the Middle East and in the world.


  3. Thanks for your prayer. May it be so!

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