Prayer for hostages

Originally appeared on

Whenever people are taken hostage, our hearts go out to them and to their families no matter where they are or who they are. Prayer reaches beyond nationalities and distances to encompass all people and all nations.

As I’ve thought about hostage situations, my prayers have centered mainly on three different levels. The first is the very human level where the heart reaches out to give comfort and support. At such moments, a hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal like “O tender, loving Shepherd” might come to thought. The first verse of this hymn ends this way: “… We know that Love will guide us, / And safely lead us home” (Frederic W. Root, No. 245). Divine Love is able to lead all parties involved in such situations—not just the individuals who have been kidnapped but also the people who have initiated the capture. Each can be led safely home, that is, to a more spiritual understanding of his or her relation to God and to others.

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