Almighty God, keep us from despair. Forbid that we become numb to violence and the suffering that comes in its vicious wake. We bow our heads again this today, remembering our brothers and sisters in Christ gunned down on their way to worship you. As members of the same body, we weep with those who weep, wail with those who grieve, and mourn with those who mourn. We cannot help but ask “Why?” and “How long?” and “What should we do?”
We long for your answers even as we trust your promise to be with us, always and through every trial.
We yearn for you to make of us a people who never return evil for evil, but honor all people. Shape us, Master Potter, into a community that follows Christ so closely that we forgive the unforgivable and pray for those who hurt us. May the fires of senseless violence forge us into a people marked by flames of the Holy Spirit, speaking of your deeds of power until all of creation hears and heeds your Word of mercy, justice, grace and love.
When we go to worship this week, wake us up, shake us up, gather us together, keenly aware of the cost some have paid to be faithful. Forbid that we become complacent as we approach you, Living God. May our prayers rise as incense to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and grants us peace. Mingle our praise, our confession, our lament, our pleas with the worshippers gathered around the throne of heaven, our Coptic brothers and sisters, and those from every nation. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.