A prayer in the wake of last week’s shooting

July 24, 2012

I prayed the following prayer last Sunday.

Almighty God, whose word we hear not often in the violent wind and the earthquake and the fire but in a still small voice: We pray that your Word won’t return to you empty. Let it accomplish your purposes in our hearts this morning. After the violence and chaos of last week’s tragic shooting, we need your peace—the peace that passes all understanding. Indeed, the world needs your peace. And so we pray that you would ease our justifiable anger, calm our anxious hearts, and speak your word to us again—the word saying that vengeance belongs to you and you will repay; the word saying that we should not fear for the one who can kill only the body and not the soul; the word saying that you are merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; the word saying that no person or principality or power can separate us from this great love. Remind us that your Son Jesus defeated the forces of sin and evil on the cross and through his resurrection won a victory over death itself—a victory that will be made manifest on the other side of our own resurrection. Until then let us wait patiently alongside your Creation, as it groans with the pain of childbirth, waiting for redemption, waiting for renewal, waiting for new birth. Enable us your Church around the world to play the role that you’ve given each of us to play in giving birth to this new world. Enable us your church at 69 North Main Street in Alpharetta to be faithful to the task and mission you’ve given us. It is your mission, and we are grateful that you let us share our best selves in carrying it out. We pray this in the name of our Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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