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Prayer for Korea, by Bishop Park

. 2 min read
August 10, 2017
“For he is our peace;
in his flesh he has made both groups

into one and has broken down
the dividing wall, that is,

the hostility between
us.” (Ephesians 2:14)
Dear
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Grace
to you in the most precious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!
August
15th is a day of national celebration of the Independence Day in Korea. The
Japanese occupation of Korea ended that day in 1945. However, the joy of
liberation ended quickly. Soon after, the Korean Peninsula was divided into two
and the hostility between them has continued for over 70 years. The Korean War
during 1950 to 1953 cost injuries and loss of lives numbering in the millions.
The present situation is so alarming and serious and it is escalating toward
the breaking point.
The
World Council of Churches has designated this Sunday, August 13, 2017, as the
Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula. I call
upon our people to pray for peace to prevail. You can find out more information
about the World Council of Churches call for prayer at https://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/events/sunday-of-prayer-for-the-peaceful-reunification-of-the-korean-peninsula.
Please
have a time of prayer for Korea during worship this Sunday.
Let
me offer a prayer:
“O God of every nation, of every race and land, redeem your
whole creation with your almighty hand; where hate and fear divide us, and
bitter threats are hurled, in love and mercy guide us, and heal our strife-torn
world.”
*

Eternal
Father and Mother of us all, these words of hymnody speak so well of what we
feel in our hearts. At times, O Creator, we see a world torn and divided by
fears, anxiety, and misunderstanding. We fail to recognize that this is not our
world, but yours and that you do not belong to any one race, faith, creed, or nationality.
You sent your Son into the world in the hopes that we might learn to put aside
our instruments of war and take up instead implements of peace. Wherever we
look we see the on-going struggle for peace and forgiveness instead of war and
hatred. O God, how long will it continue to be so?
We
especially pray today for the people of Korea and for a nation divided. It is
hard for any one of us to even begin to comprehend what it must be like to live
in constant uncertainty and fear of what could happen at any time.
 
We
pray for those who are living through generations in unwanted separation from
their loved ones; so close to one another and yet so far away. O God, how long
will it continue to be so?
So
we pray today for the Korean people. Our brothers and sisters yearn for the day
when the hope of peace for their country shall become a reality.
In
the meantime, O God, we pray the words of the same hymn writer, “Keep bright in us the vision of
days when war shall cease, when hatred and division give way to love and peace,
till dawns the morning glorious when truth and justice reign, and Christ shall
rule victorious o’er all the world’s domain.”
*
This
is our prayer, a prayer of peace and reconciliation for lands afar and near. So
hear our prayer, O God of all the nations, we give ourselves to you, let your
will be done.”
In
the name of the Jesus, Prince of Peace, Healer of our Brokenness, and Hope of
the World. Amen.
Your
Brother in Christ,
Jeremiah
J. Park

*Words by William W. Reid,
Jr., 1958 (United Methodist Hymnal #435, “O God of Every Nation”)