A PRAYER FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN A VIOLENT LAND

A PRAYER FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN A VIOLENT LAND

This prayer of lament and confession was adapted from a prayer Brian Zhahnd wrote in response to the Las Vegas Massacre on OCT 1 2017

Most merciful God we confess we are a nation addicted to violence.

We have celebrated and mythologized the violence we call good,

Only to be shocked by violence we know is evil.

We have sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind.

Forgive us for disseminating the deceit of redemptive violence;

For embracing the satanic lie that we can do good by killing.

May we who confess that Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace,

Have the courage to turn swords into plowshares,

And spears into pruning hooks.

May we embody the way of peace.

We lament the twelve dead in the Thousand Oaks club shooting,

And pray for their souls.

 

Lord, have mercy.

 

We lament the many wounded,

And pray for their healing.

 

Lord, have mercy.

 

We lament our addiction to violence,

And pray for our deliverance.

 

Lord, have mercy.

 

We lament that our culture sacralizes weapons,

And pray to learn the better way of peace.

 

Lord, have mercy.

 

We lament that we have idolized violent men,

Instead of learning from your servants of peace.

So we pray as we learned from your servant Saint Francis…

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.

 

Where there is hatred, let us sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

 

O, Divine Master,

grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

 

Lord, hear our prayers.

 

Amen.

 

By Brian Zahnd

X