Lord, teach us how to pray on days like today when senseless violence has once again destroyed innocent people and shattered the lives of those who love them. How do we pray on days like today?
You taught us to pray for your kingdom to come, on earth as it is in heaven, and so we do. We pray that this very day, a morning filled with headlines of a bomb blast and death, bloodshed and terror. We pray that God’s reign will come. Rule our hearts, Lord God, our responses, even our thoughts and especially our actions. When the news cycle narrative is one of hate and murder, we pray your kingdom come, right now, right here, with us, in ways that take back the story and show forth your love.
You taught us to pray for what we need this day and we do. We pray for bread, the bread of heaven, the bread that does not run out or give out, the bread that sustains us in the wilderness despite every hardship. We pray bread for those who hunger for righteousness this day, a day of sorrow and fear, of hurt and heaviness. We ask for bread that will nurture and comfort, uphold and nourish enough to get through this day.
You taught us to pray for forgiveness as we ourselves forgive. Lord, how? On days like today when it is impossible to deny that depth and breadth of our brokenness and sin, how do we pray to forgive as we ourselves have been forgiven? Give us an extra measure of the Spirit’s interceding power today and on days too frequently like this day. Put the words of forgiveness on our lips that may not yet reside in our heads or our hearts, so that we may pray as Christ taught us to pray.
Deliver us from evil, all of us, Lord God, Lamb of God, Prince of Peace, for you are the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever – and yes, even today and on the too many days like today.
Lord, teach us how to pray. Especially today.