Monday, December 17, 2012

A Prayer for Newtown

This was the first petition in the Prayers of the People at North Church Queens this past Sunday, December 16, 2012.  I wrote it Sunday morning, just before worship.

God of comfort and consolation,
     our hearts are heavy this morning,
     as are the hearts of our nation and the world.
As Rachel weeps for her children in Ramah,
we bitterly weep and wail for the twenty children
of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut,
            and also for the six teachers and school administrators there
tragically and senselessly gunned down this past Friday.
As we raise our lamentations to you,
we also pray that you will comfort and console the Newtown community,
            the parents, family and friends of those slain,
            the first responders who faced an unimaginable and unspeakable scene,
            and all those seeking to make sense of the senseless.
Never let our prayers serve as an excuse for inaction,
            so motivate and empower us as individuals and as a nation
            to address our culture of gun violence,
violence in the media,
and violent video games,
            which desensitize us and our youth to absurd and inexcusable violence.

1 comment:

John Edward Harris said...

A week later, on December 23, I began the Prayers of the People with these two original petitions:

God of comfort and consolation, as our nation continues to mourn the deaths of those killed in Newtown Connecticut; we continue to raise our lamentations to you. As we prepare to celebrate our savior’s birth, the very same savior who called to him children and said that only those like a child can enter his kingdom, help us keep the children of this nation safe from harm, and safe from the culture of violence that so permeates our nation.

May we address our national culture of gun violence, and agree on common sense gun safety that will both protect rights and protect life, safeguarding us all from fear, intimidation, and the proliferation of semi-automatic weapons and high capacity ammunition clips and magazines, so that we, and all your children, may live in peace.