In the stillness, in the silence, hope in God.

What do your eyes wait to see?
What does your heart ache to hold?
Where do your feet yearn to walk?

In the stillness, in the silence, hope in God.

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Pray that Jerusalem has peace: “Let those who love you have rest. Let there be peace on your walls; let there be rest on your fortifications.” For the sake of my family and friends, I say, “Peace be with you, Jerusalem.” For the sake of the Lord our God’s house I will pray for your good.

Psalm 122:6-9

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We piled into the van as darkness settled over the city. Fresh off a long day of travel, our group of youth and adults soon learned our activity for the night was a prayer tour. At various places, we’d jump out of the van and pray. To everyone’s surprise, praying for the city turned out to be one of the most powerful experiences during our trip.

Once inside the walls of Jerusalem, the psalmist prays. Three times, a plea for peace is made. The Hebrew word translated “peace” is “shalom.” In her book Shalom Sistas, Osheta Moore describes shalom as “God’s dream for the world as it should be: whole, vibrant, flourishing.” The psalmist asks not for an absence of conflict, but to make God’s dream for the world a reality.

Think about your community. Where do you see God’s dream emerging in your part of the world? Challenge yourself to pray for your city on a regular basis.

Jennie Barber

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God of all places, I pray for the place I call home. Break down walls of division. Turn strangers into neighbors. Help me join your work of bringing wholeness to my community. Amen.

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Watch with hope.

See today with God’s vision: catch glimmers of goodness and beauty.

Embrace today with Christ’s compassion: let others know they are deeply loved.

Walk today with the Spirit’s boldness: sing, create, serve, and play.

Jennie Barber

Jennie Barber is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) who has spent almost two decades serving youth and their families. She recently moved back to her home state of Washington where she, her husband, and their three children have endless adventures exploring one of the most beautiful places in the world.

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Nathan Hanson

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