Prayers of the People

A Prayer after the Mass Shooting in Las Vegas
Offered by Rocky Supinger, Judith L. Watt, and Nanette Sawyer

Offered as part of the Service of Lament on Wednesday, October 4, 2017

O God of our hearts, hear the cries of your people.

We join our voices with the voices of our ancestors, asking “How long, O Lord, must we wait to feel your presence? . . . Come quickly to our aid.”

Giver of life, Lover of our souls, we are so full: full of fear and sadness, full of anger and despair, full of feelings of helplessness. And so we gather and pray, O God, because we don’t know what else to do. We turn to you, because if we don’t, our minds and hearts might simply shut down.

Hear our prayers, merciful God, for the victims of gun violence. Women. Men. Children. All whose lives are ended by a bullet fired from a pistol or a rifle, a shotgun or some semiautomatic weapon; a gun bought legally or by criminal means; a gun fired in plain sight or in hiding, accidentally or on purpose, by an enemy, a stranger, or even themselves.

God, help us.

Help victims who live after the terror of gunfire, many whose job it is to protect and to rescue others from it. In their troubled sleep and their shattered nerves, in their pained questioning, in their testimony, O God, be present, so that the rupture introduced by a gun may be fused and life restored.

God, help us.

Help those who have lost a neighbor, a coworker, a parent, a student, a spouse—any friend, any relative—to the violence of the gun. Stay close in grief. Speak comfort and peace. Illumine hope and new life.

God, help us.

We pray for those entrusted with making our laws, that the death and horror and pain that has resulted from guns would be overcome and redeemed by laws that would turn the tide of this evil. Keep our lawmakers focused on solutions. Give them courage to break through the bind of competing forces. Walk with them, and make your presence in their decision-making unmistakable.

We pray also for children and grandchildren, for parents everywhere struggling to find the right words, to explain, for teachers doing the same. O God, we dream of a world that is full: full of kindness and respect, gentleness and love.

God, help us.

The grief and horror overwhelms us. The tragedies wash over us. We are filled with shock and fear and anger. We are filled with dismay and confusion.

Be our strength. Be our comfort. Be our instigator to push us to actions that can make a difference in even one life; inspire us to take action that will make a difference in all our futures.

God, help us.

You, O God, are the light on our path. Sometimes we don’t see you, or we forget you, or you seem like a pinpoint of light far in the distance.

Be like the light of the sun to us, shining into our broken hearts, calling us toward you as you call even the plants to turn toward your warmth.

In our hour of need, God help us.


Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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