Recent news accounts have inspired members of our Bayard team to compose prayers to be shared. When events like the killings at the Tree of Life synagogue and the elevated language of division continues, it’s important to turn to the God of love in our confusion, anger, fear, and hope.
Two prayers follow:
God of peace,
As hate builds on hate
and violence follows savage violence,
it is so easy to find ourselves
weary or numb
or feeling helpless and afraid.
“Never again” we say;
we say it so often that the words
get dry in our mouths;
and with every killing, every hateful word,
it gets harder and harder to believe it.
Even your Church, the People of God
Is riven with anger and injustice,
preying on each other
instead of praying with and for one another,
blaming each other for sins and evils
that live and thrive in every human heart.
God of Love,
Where can we turn but to you?
Who, but you, can save us from ourselves?
Who, but you, can revive our spirits
and fill us with hope?
Do not delay, God!
We fear that time is running out.
Break through our walls of hate
and injustice and violence.
Help us change our hearts and quiet our minds.
Help us set a course of justice, not retribution,
compassion, not intolerance,
solidarity, not division,
and hope instead of despair.
Help us to mourn all the victims and bring
comfort and solace to their families.
Help us work for peace
in our families and our neighborhoods,
our country and our world.
Fill us with courage and compassion
so that we may be signs to the world
that there is another way—
your way of peace and mercy and love.
Your Son, who gave his life for us,
commanded us to love one another
and prayed to you that we all would be one.
Please! Answer your Son’s prayer now!
You are our hope, and our peace, and our Life.
Dan Connors, Editorial Director, Twenty-Third Publications
Download this prayer as a PDF by clicking on this link: God of Peace. By Dan Conners. Twenty-Third Publications
A second prayer:
Download this prayer as a PDF by clicking on this link: Prayers for Victims. Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting
This prayer was originally shared at Bayard Inc.
Image credit: George Martell / Bayard Inc.