Prayer For Pittsburgh

Dear God,
Your precious Children are crying.
We have every reason to become numb,
to become used to this blasphemous trend,
to barely even register
that Your Images are being erased
by cold guns wielded by hurtful hearts.
God, we know we must act,
and we know that, in order to act,
we must feel the urgency Your Urgency.
We must channel Your pain
at the deaths of Your children
in Your Holy Home
and remind ourselves and
our leaders to look to the Tree of life
We've been too quiet,
mistaking status updates and reactionary prayers
for repentance.
Our nation has endured
the epidemic of Gun Violence
for far too long.
And so, God,
as we feel the beginnings of our own weariness
after two mass shootings within four hours
we remember the wisdom of Your Prophet,
who taught that:

those who hope in God will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

We pray to You for renewal
as we spread our protective wings over one another again,
running to justice,
refusing weariness,
and choosing life.
May we sing louder than weapons
and merit to see You in each other's eyes,
sanctifying Your Name
by standing together
by rising up again,
this time rebuilding Your World
by saving each other.

Lord God, May we relentlessly speak up for and reach out to our Jewish brothers and sisters and all of those reeling in fear as they simply go about their daily living. Grant us the courage, the will and the stamina to live every day with faith, hope, mercy, kindness and justice until crying and mourning and death and hate are no more. We pray in the name of our Savior, a Jewish man from Nazareth, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Amen.

Lord, we know your power, your promises and your presence, but on days like today when your chosen people are gunned down in your holy house we question everything we thought we knew about you, about humanity, about ourselves. How can such hate fester and plot, destroy and kill? How can those created in your image and called good commit such horrendous acts? How have we gotten to this place? Where do we go from here?

Lord, help us. Help us rise up and resist evil with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Help us confront the hate within and without that is overtaking our land. Comfort, O comfort your people, Lord. We beg for an outpouring of compassion and love to overwhelm the scourge of violence besetting our communities.

Creator of Life,
You created human beings
in Your image, each person
A universe.

You gave us eyes to see.
And minds to reason.
You gave us hearts to understand
And hands to reach out.

Creator of eyes and minds, and
Of hearts and hands,
Our hearts are breaking and our
Eyes are spilling tears. For
Plowshares have been beaten back to swords, and
We have lost eleven precious souls whose blood was spilt
In hatred.

Source of Shelter,
Help us mourn our dead and comfort the living.
Teach us to see Your image in the eyes of our neighbor.
Teach us to use our hands, and hearts,
To reach out to those that mourn.
To those that fear.
To those that hate.
And hold us all in the shelter of peace once more.

Work through us, God, Turn our helplessness into action, teach us to believe that we can rise up from this tragedy and banish the hate that is tearing our world apart.