Spirit of life, we remember today women, famous women and nameless women, who in the course of history have used the strength and gifts that you have given them to change the world. We call upon these our ancestors in the faith to help us to discover in ourselves this strength and the way to use it to bring in the Kingdom of justice and peace.
We remember Sarah, who with Abraham answered God's call to leave their native land and put their trust in a covenant with the Lord.
We pray for her strength of faith.
We remember Esther and Deborah, who by their personal deeds of courage saved their nation.
We pray for their strength and courage in acting for the good of many.
We remember Mary Magdalene and the other women who followed Jesus, who were not believed when they told of his resurrection.
We pray for their strength of belief when confronted with scepticism.
We remember Phoebe and Priscilla and the other women who were leaders in the early church.
We pray for their strength to spread the Gospel and to inspire other communities of believers.
We remember the abbesses of the Middle Ages who kept faith and knowledge alive.
We pray for their strength of leadership.
We remember Teresa of Ávila and Catherine of Siena, who challenged the corruption of the church at the Renaissance.
We pray for their strength of intelligence and assertiveness.
We remember our mothers and grandmothers, whose lives have shaped ours.
We pray for the particular strength that they sought to pass on to us.
We pray for women who are victims of domestic violence.
May they find strength to overcome fear and seek solutions.
We pray for women facing a life of poverty and malnutrition.
May they find strength to hope and work together for a better life.
We pray for women who have led the way in making a breakthrough for women.
May they find strength to persevere and open up new opportunities for all women.
We pray for our daughters and granddaughters.
May they find strength to discover a life that is distinctively theirs.
(Add here the names of women whom you wish to remember or for whom you wish to pray.)
We have celebrated the strength of many women, past and present. Now we come to celebrate ourselves. In each one of us there is the same life, the same light, the same love. In each one of us there are the seeds of strength and glory. Our bodies can lovingly touch, our hearts can heal, our minds can discern faith, truth and justice.
Spirit of life, be with us in our quest. Amen.
(From: A collection of Prayer for Peace – 2006 DOV, WCC)