A hymn to help voice prayers for peace

As Russia considers invading neighboring Ukraine, Presbyterian hymn-writer publishes ‘We Pray for Peace’

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Contributed photo)

LOUISVILLE — The Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, a Presbyterian hymn-writer who has penned new lyrics to more than 400 hymns, has published her most recent hymn, “We Pray for Peace” to Finlandia, the tune for the hymn “Be Still, My Soul” and “This is My Song.”

The new hymn is written as the world braces for Russia’s possible invasion of Ukraine and the fighting that would follow such an invasion.

The lyrics “May leaders hear the truth the prophets teach us/that gifts of peace are well worth struggling for” conclude the first verse.

As with other hymns Gillette has authored, this hymn comes with a YouTube video performed by the Rev. Casey Carbone, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Mahopac, New York, and the information technology and communications facilitator for Hudson River Presbytery. Carbone gives permission for use of his video, as does Gillette for “We Pray for Peace.”

          We Pray for Peace

FINLANDIA (“This is My Song”)

We pray for peace, O God of love and justice,

as once again, we face a time of war.

The meek and humble try — amid the crisis —

to love and build, to nurture and restore.

May leaders hear the truth the prophets teach us —

that gifts of peace are well worth struggling for.


We pray for peace, O Christ who calmed the waters —

who stilled the storm, who stilled disciples’ fear.

You spoke with love and with amazing power;

be with us now when trouble is so near.

May leaders see the miracle you offer —

that words and deeds can calm the nations here.


We pray for peace, O Spirit here among us;

your love emboldens, judges and restrains.

Take any hate and acts of impulse from us;

make leaders wise, amid competing claims.

May we seek peace, O God of love and justice;

may love and mercy be our highest aims.

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