For Your Prayers

   
     With you, I have been stunned again by the news of a deadly shooting attack, this time in Las Vegas.   

                    Spirit of the Living God, intercede for us with sighs too deep for words.
 

     In the aftermath of the school shooting in Sandy Hook in 2013, the ELCA Conference of Bishops (that is, the collection of 65 synod bishops, the presiding bishop, and the secretary of the ELCA) adopted a Pastoral Letter for the church:  A Pastoral Letter on Violence.  It does not remove the grief of those who experience such grave loss, but it does reflect theologically and pastorally on the gun violence that plagues us.
     Please join in prayer that arises out of profound sadness for all those directly experiencing grief and loss now, in particular the families and friends of the victims, but in prayer that also arises out of profound hope that appeals to the Triune God, in whom there is life, restoration, wholeness, and salvation.  I offer to you again the prayer that I have offered at two other times of terrible violence and loss in our country.  The hymn verse that concludes this prayer is the third verse of “Holy Spirit Living Breath of God” by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty.

      God of all peoples and nations, we cannot undo the past or make it as though it never happened. 
Teach us now to be at peace with you and to make peace with others. 
Let us experience your sacrificial and saving love so fully that our vision for today is renewed. 
Thank you, that you free us to face the future with steady eyes, willing hearts, and ready hands to serve you as your people.

     Holy Spirit, from creation's birth, 
     Giving life to all that God has made,
     Show your power once again on earth;
     Cause your church to hunger for your ways.
     Let the fragrance of our prayers arise.
     Lead us on the road of sacrifice
     That in unity the face of Christ
     Will be clear for all the world to see.   Amen.