Church of England gets behind call to pray for Syria

In this photo dated 11 December 2012, 10-year-old Abdullah Ahmed, who suffered burns in a Syrian government airstrike and fled his home with his family, stands outside their tent at a camp for displaced Syrians in the village of Atmeh, Syria. More than 100,000 people have been killed since the start of Syria's conflict over two years ago(AP)

The Bishop of Wakefield has added his voice to calls from the Catholic Church to pray for Syria.

The Right Reverend Stephen Platten said Christians of all denominations should pray for those affected by the conflict.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales issued the call for prayer earlier this week.

In addition to praying, Bishop Platten encouraged Christians to support victims of the conflict in practical ways.

"This conflict has persisted for too long and caused too much unnecessary human suffering. The international community must redouble its efforts in breaking the diplomatic impasse and in meeting the humanitarian costs of the conflict. It is high time that we saw peace, security and stability restored in Syria," he said.

"In addition to praying for the people of Syria and the wider peace in the region, I hope that Church of England parishes will look to support the ongoing relief effort by contributing generously to Christian Aid's emergency appeal for Syria."

The Church of England has this week released prayers to assist people in praying for Syria.

A Prayer for Reconciliation in Syria

God of history,

Witness of the struggles within families;

we pray for the divided family of Syria

as brother fights against brother,

and sister rejects sister.

We pray for those whose love of neighbour

has been destroyed in the bitterness of enmity.

May fear be submerged in compassion.

May distrust be diluted by hope,

as a vision of peace illuminates

darkened minds and hate-filled hearts.

We pray in the name of Christ,

our source of light and love. Amen.

A Prayer for Peace in Syria

Spirit of wisdom and grace,

the power of truth and judgement;

we pray for all who are working for peace

in the tangled conflict of Syria today.

For international leaders holding a thread of control,

for the politicians holding a thread of power,

for the religious leaders holding a thread of authority,

for the fighters holding a thread of influence,

and the citizens clinging to a thread of hope.

Bring unity through the untangled order of justice.

Bring reconciliation through truthful dialogue.

Bring new life through patient diplomacy,

determined mediation and courageous peace-making.

We pray in the name of Christ,

our source of inspiration and confidence. Amen.

 A Prayer for the Victims of the Syrian conflict

We pray for those damaged by the fighting in Syria.

To the wounded and injured:

Come Lord Jesus.

To the terrified who are living in shock:

Come Lord Jesus

To the hungry and homeless, refugee and exile:

Come Lord Jesus

To those bringing humanitarian aid:

Give protection Lord Jesus

To those administering medical assistance:

Give protection Lord Jesus.

To those offering counsel and care:

Give protection Lord Jesus.

For all making the sacrifice of love:

Give the strength of your Spirit

and the joy of your comfort.

In the hope of Christ we pray. Amen.

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