It seems that every day there are headlines about gun violence. As you know, our family was touched by gun violence some years back when my brother-in-law was shot and killed at his workplace. While it has been years now, many of my family are still struck with grief, anger and sadness at unexpected times, as well as when shootings grab the headlines.
Talking about gun violence so quickly turns to accusations of politicization from all sides of the gun spectrum: gun control advocates, gun enthusiasts, and everyone in between. And while I deeply believe that the political process and social discourse is an important of our lives as citizens, I am also a member of the Body of Christ, knowing that no matter where one stands, gun violence impacts us all . . . as we are all, ALL, children of God.
So today, in response to the daily reports of shooting in the world, I offer a prayer in response to gun violence.
A Prayer in Response to Gun Violence
God, our souls ache as another shooting is lifted into our view
We know You weep with us in times of sadness, despair and anger
so we join our spirits with Yours and come to you in prayer
As difficult as it might be, God, grant us the faith to pray for
the shooter, the killer, our enemy
may we not repay evil with evil
As political as it may seem, God, grant us the patience to pray for
the politicians, the lobbyist, the system
may wisdom beyond our imagination prevail
As much as it hurts our hearts to remember, God, grant us the strength to pray for
the dead, their families, their friends and their community
may we hear their wailing in heart, body and soul
As distant as it may feel, God give us the perspective to pray for
the shootings that do not grab headlines
individuals who suffer, grieve and mourn in silence
communities where gun violence is always a possibility
may we be the Body of Christ for all your children
God, be with each of us as You see fit, giving us the the space
to know grief that is real
to express anger that is righteous
and to embody hope that we trust is in the midst of it all.
In Your healing and hopeful name we pray
Please feel free to use this prayer as you may see fit for your community. You may also want to check out Carolyn Winfrey Gillette’s, hymn in response to gun violence, God, We Have Heard It.
And here is an image that I created for the prayer: