Prayers of the People—June 19

By Kris Fishman

Our God, our help in ages past. 

God of the broken-hearted, receive our sighs too deep for words.  In your time and by your grace heal us. This terrible week, where early last Sunday morning the worst mass shooting in US history occurred as a shooter opened fire at a nightclub in Orlando, comes to an end with an awful anniversary, of last year’s tragedy at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S. C., in which a gunman killed nine black parishioners during a prayer service. Again, this terrible week comes to an end with an awful anniversary.  Hatred still dogs us, here and across the globe, offering violence, delivering grief. Hope, for many these days, is thin on the ground.

In this mean time hold us as we weep for those in Orlando and in all places in your world who are confronted with violence and live in fear.  As our divine father, hold us and rock us with the rhythm of your own grief-struck heart.  Comfort the fathers, mothers, families, and friends who have lost the most precious of gifts, a child, a sibling, a cousin, a friend.

Our God, our help in ages past.  Our hope for years to come. 

Keep us close.  Help us to turn to each other, to give and receive, to build up instead of tearing down.  Restore our hope in you and our ability to safeguard the least, the lost, and the lonely.  Guide us with wisdom in how we teach our children and work towards a world of peace.

Our God, our help in ages past.  Our hope for years to come.  Be thou our guard while life shall last.  

Guard us from anger that swells and fear that cripples.  Guard us from diseases that kill, and poverties of body, mind, and spirit.  Guard us in our waking and sleeping and those we love who are far away.  May they always return safely to us.

Our God, our help in ages past.  Our hope for years to come.  Be thou our guard while life shall last.  And our eternal home. 

God in our time of sorrow and wonder, we turn to scripture, hymns, and psalms of old that teach us your sovereign care.  Throughout all time you have been creating, redeeming, and sustaining us.  We pray as our fathers and mothers and all those throughout history have taught us to pray; Our Father who art in heaven….