A Form for Prayer in Response to Tragedy

This will be used during our “Prayers of the People” at the Episcopal Church at Yale tonight, 5PM in Dwight Hall Chapel on Yale’s Old Campus:

Almighty God, author of life, sustainer of hope, comforter in every need, look with mercy upon this fallen world, again the subject of violence.  Give us today reassurance of your presence as we continue to sort through the details of this tragedy, together we pray to you, O God, saying:

Lord have mercy.

That we would find peace, faith, and hope as we gather together, and that as we are present to and for one another, we might find that you are present among us, we pray to you, O God, saying:

Lord have mercy.

That you would be with us in our grief, that we may know your consolation, that you would be with us in our anger, that we may receive your peace, that you would be with us in our confusion, that we may be led to your truth, and that you would be with us in our fear, that we may be delivered into your surpassing love, we pray to you, O God, saying:

Lord have mercy.

That you would help us to transform the depth of our emotions into passionate and productive compassion, a compassion that grinds hatred to a halt with measured, thoughtful justice, a compassion that disarms the arsenals of cruelty with forces of goodness and grace, we pray to you, O God, saying:

Lord have mercy.

For the victims of violence, their families, and for all first responders and those who have sought to help, we pray to you, O God, saying:

Lord have mercy.

For the departed, that they might find rest, we pray to you, O God, saying:

Lord have mercy.

Invite prayers and petitions from the congregation.

God of the broken-hearted, God of the broken heart, receive our sighs too deep for words.  With Rachel, you wail for your children because they are no more. With Jesus, you weep over the death of Lazarus, his friend. Like a mother hen, you yearn to comfort and protect your chicks. In the passion of your Son, you bring all our pains and all our sorrows into your very Self.  In your time, by your grace, heal us.  While we wait for that day, hold us as we weep and give us the strength, in defiance of the evil in this world, to find in you assurance of hope.  Amen.

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