A Pastoral Prayer After a Global Tragedy

Holy God,
we come before you like Hannah this morning,
weary with weeping,
yet faithful in kneeling before you,
we pray out of our anxiety and frustration.
Hear us, and hold us close.

We lift our prayers of grief, dear God.
Grief for those who have died in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad,
Egypt, Syria, Burundi,
on city streets
and in hospital beds.
Grief for those facing tsunamis in Japan
and earthquakes in Mexico.
Grief for those whose lives have been shattered
Grief for a world where hate brings more hate
pain more pain
and fear more fear.

(silence)

Hear us, and hold us close.

We lift our prayers of anger, dear God.
Anger at the injustice.
Anger at how little it seems we can do to help.
Anger at systems of violence
by which some seek to profit
by the death of others.
Anger at you, even.

(silence)

Hear us, and hold us close.

We lift our prayers of exhaustion, dear God.
Exhaustion at yet another attack.
Exhaustion at the outburst of racial tensions at Mizzou,
at how little our words of reconciliation and love have really done.
Exhaustion in seeking hope
when everything seems hopeless.
Exhaustion over the endless tirades
of talking heads and social media posts
of causes that scream to be given more attention
and shame heaped upon those who can’t seem to catch up
or get the words out fast enough.

(silence)

Hear us, and hold us close.

We lift our prayers of fear, dear God.
Fear that the privileges we have
aren’t enough to keep us safe.
Fear that this is just the way things are,
and always will be.
Fear that we too could turn toward hatred
if only this lasts long enough
or hits close enough to home.

(silence)

Hear us, and hold us close.

And in the midst of all this, dear God
we are bold enough to lift prayers of joy
joy that won’t be silenced
not even in the darkest times.
We lift up the beauty of creation
as the seasons change before our eyes.
We lift up joy for the holidays ahead
and families coming home.
We lift up joy that there are millions of people praying for peace
walking alongside us, as we walk alongside them.
We lift up our joy in you,
you who are ever present with us
you who are our rock and our redeemer
joy that in life and in death,
we belong to you.

(silence)

Hear us, and hold us close.

For these and all other prayers of our hearts,
we pray to you,
in the name of the One who remembers what it was like to bleed and die
and to live again and be healed,
the One who taught us to pray, saying,

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory
forever.

Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s