A Prayer for Charleston

In place of the usual this week, and in light of the horrible shooting incident in Charleston last week, I offer the following prayer from my friend, Pastor Ian Simkins, lead pastor of Poplar Creek Church in Bartlett, Ill.  As you read, please pray for all those involved in the tragedy.

A Prayer of Lament (Charleston)

God of comfort, grant us peace.

Our hearts are broken, our souls heavy. Our sorrow is a weight around our necks – sinking our feet deep into the mire of despair. Deliver those buried under this burden of misery.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of justice, grant us hope.

We proclaim that Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, yet we confess that the sin and brokenness we see around us is a bitter reminder of a Kingdom not yet fully come. May we be agents of your justice in every crack and crevice of our lives.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of power, grant us strength.

We know that the same force that spoke the universe into existence is alive in each of us, yet our spirits are weary. How long, oh Lord – must communities be torn and fractured by senseless violence? How we are desperate for your vitality and courage. We can do nothing without it.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of passion, grant us stillness.

We are a tangle of emotions from rage to anguish. We long for your Holy Spirit to guide our hearts to right responses. May our hearts break for the things that break yours. May we be filled with anger that submits to your sovereignty. May we find the stillness necessary to align passions with yours in order to navigate these brutal waters.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of wisdom, grant us insight.

We are confused, disconcerted in every way. We know that you “work for the good of those who love you,” but we must confess our own turbulence. With all of the messages competing for our attention, may we attune our ears to hear you voice loudest. We desperately require a wisdom beyond our own faculties.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of redemption, grant us life.

You alone, O God, are the source of life. Yet our narratives bleed crimson with brutality and death. We need new songs whispered into our ears, new rhythms to pound in our chests, so that we may join in the chorus of new life.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The Lord be with you!

About Warren Anderson

Emmaus Road Worshipers is written by Dr. Warren Anderson, Director of the Demoss Center for Worship in the Performing Arts at Judson University (Elgin, Ill.), where he also directs the Judson University Choir. A Judson alumnus, he has served his alma mater in a number of capacities over the past 30+ years, especially the chapel ministry, which he led for 22 years. From 1982-2016, Dr. Anderson served six different churches--American Baptist (X2), Converge, Evangelical Free Church of America, Roman Catholic, and United Methodist--as a "weekend warrior" worship musician/pastor. He is a former member of the editorial board of Worship Leader magazine. The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of Judson University.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Prayer for Charleston

  1. Lynn Hammerlund says:

    Powerful prayer. The situation is unfolding, and we are amazed at the power of love and caring, not succumbing to hatred. God bless those people in Charleston. Jesus is crying with them as they mourn, but He recognizes that they are trying to witness to the love of God in this whole situation. God’s fingerprint can be found on everything. This time, it is much easier to see it.
    May God have mercy on us all, and help us to learn from this tragedy what hate does, and how love heals


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s