The following is a prayer we shared in our services this weekend in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris this past week.
Holy and Loving God, today we pause together as a people who are once again in shock at the violence and evil that fills our world. We cannot fathom nor can we even begin to explain such senseless disregard for life.
We feel anger and sadness and confusion and fear today Lord. We are desperate for an answer Lord, something or someone who can somehow stop the hurting and set this upside down world right side up again.
Today Lord we are reminded of our desperate and overwhelming need of you, for the only one who we believe by faith has the answer for the sickness that has corrupted all of humanity.
In the face of evil, Lord Jesus, you paused to pray and so today – as people who have committed our lives to following you – we do the same.
Lord, comfort the grieving this day, those who are overcome by their senseless loss.
Lord, protect and heal the injured.
Bless and equip doctors and nurses who serve those who are now in critical care.
Lord, be present with those whose lives have now been forever changed by the violence of recent days. May they know your peace which passes all of our human understanding.
Lord, guard those who this day continue to stand in the face of those who would do your people harm. Be with those first responders who ran into the heart of danger and those who continue to stand at post to defend and protect us from evil.
Lord, enable us – your people – to respond in faith rather fear, to have the courage to stand for what is right and lovely and pure and good. As your Spirits drives away any and all anxiety, we also ask that you would keep us Lord from being those who might also find ourselves trapped by vengeance and hate.
And only because you have taught us to do so and we are committed to you, today we pray for our enemies and for all those who would ally themselves with terror and fear.
Cast out hate Lord.
Cast out violence Lord.
Cast out vengeance Lord.
Cast out fear.
We pray for our enemies trusting that light will conquer darkness and that the worst thing we face in life will not be the last thing.
With the people of Paris, and with all those who are the victims of terror all around the world today we stand together and in the name of Jesus, we offer this prayer,