Because we are weary of two extended wars over the past twelve years;
And because these two extended wars have done great harm to people in these countries and to our own sons and daughters;
And because the civil wars in these countries are profoundly complex and defy quick solutions;
And because persecuted Christians in Syria anticipate increased danger to them in the event of a military strike;
And because violence always leads to violence, and retaliation to retaliation;
May we seek first to do no harm, resisting the temptation to return violence for violence;
May we stay engaged in the present trauma of the Syrian people, but with a broad coalition of partners;
May we not lose interest in Syria because we are not at war with them;
May we pray for those in positions of leadership, that our hearts of stone will become hearts of flesh;
May we claim the truth of our prayer: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
(Carter is the resident bishop of the Florida Area of the United Methodist Church.)
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