A Pastoral Prayer during a time of mourning

Pastoral Prayer for November 15, 2015

Jeff Garrison

Almighty God, you tell us not to be afraid, but once again we gathered in fear as we hear happening around our world.  Once again, we gather with a realization that things are out of our control, or at least our control.  Once again we gather overwhelmed with bad news.  This morning we pray for the people of Paris that lived through a night of terror with multiple attacks within the city, for those who grieve over the deaths of friends and loved ones and for wounded and battling for life.   We pray for the people of Baghdad, for the family that loss nineteen from a bombing at a funeral and for those affected by another roadside bomb in that country that killed another half dozen.  And we pray for the lives destroyed by an attack in Beirut that killed forty people.  We pray for those in Egypt and Yemen and other areas of the globe where such attacks have occurred.  The numbers affected are astonishing and the heartbreaks add up as we cry out with heavy hearts, “How long, O Lord?  How Long?”   In the midst of these atrocities, help us to trust in you, to do our part to make this world a better place for all your children, and to turn our prayers of lament into prayers of longing as we pray, “Come Lord Jesus, come soon!”

Yet, in the whirlwind that blows around us, we are thankful that this time we have been spared, that we have comfortable lives in a beautiful part of your creation surrounded by supportive family and friends.  We thank you for the abundance that you have shared with us, for the skills and talents with which we have been endowed, and for the lives that we enjoy.  But mostly, we thank you for Jesus Christ, his atoning death and glorious resurrection and the hope we have of living eternally with him.  In the meantime, show us how to use your gifts in a manner that will glorify the name of our Lord and will further his kingdom.  Make us peacemakers in a world of trouble, agents of forgiveness amongst the calls of revenge and creators of hope among those whose lives appear hopeless.  May we be faithful throughout this life and when we are called to our eternal home, may we hear you said, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” for that is what we are, your servants.

On this day in which the international news dominates our lives, we pray for those close to home…  For our members and friends who need your healing, for those who are lost who need your direction, for those in grief who need your consoling, and for those in harm’s way who need your protection.  Be with those in prison, those living in poverty and struggling in homelessness and help us, as your arms and legs on the earth, to respond with compassion and love.  We offer this prayer in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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