A Litany to Pray in the Wake of Gun Violence


Post Author: Angela Wells

After yet another mass shooting, and another one in a school, many people of faith cannot find words. Here is a prayer that can help guide us in worship.


You created us in your own image, an image of love and grace.  You have called us to live in peace with one another, to be instruments of your peace and justice in this world.  Surround us with your divine presence as we mourn and as we rage in the face of yet another mass shooting.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Make us instruments of your justice and peace.

For the loved ones of the children and teachers who were killed in Uvalde, Texas, for all those survivors who have been traumatized, for first responders who carry the weight of all the horror they have witnessed, we pray.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Make us instruments of your justice and peace.

 

For those who grieve the loss of the persons killed in Buffalo, New York, for the survivors, for people of color across the country and world traumatized by yet another deadly experience of hate, we pray.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Make us instruments of your justice and peace.

 

For teachers, students, and school staff everywhere who fear for their lives entering their school building, we pray for your comfort and strength.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Make us instruments of your justice and peace.

 

For our country and its broken systems of healthcare and especially mental healthcare, we pray, O God, that you strengthen those working for the public good.  Be with therapists, social workers, first responders, doctors, nurses, and hospital staff responding to needs that are overwhelming.  May we build better systems to support the work of health and healing of body, mind, spirit, and community.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Make us instruments of your justice and peace.

 

For all those whose lives have been changed forever by gun violence, for the countless tragedies whose names have scrolled across our screens, for those unknown to us but known and loved by you, we hold them in your Light, O God.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Make us instruments of your justice and peace.

 

For our leaders, our legislatures, and our courts, for all who have power to enact lasting change but have continually refused and thus added to the death toll, we pray for your will for justice to break open hearts that we as a country might prioritize the life of the vulnerable over the convenience and wealth of the powerful.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Make us instruments of your justice and peace.

 

For our own complicity in a culture of violence, we repent.  For our own apathy in the face of the endless news cycle, we repent.  For the ways we have not loved our neighbors, we repent.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Make us instruments of your justice and peace.

 

God of grace, we pray this day even for the perpetrators of violence, knowing that you know the deep pain that has warped their hearts to the point of such senseless violence.  We pray for their families who struggle with what could have been different.  For all those hurting this day, send help.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Make us instruments of your justice and peace.

 

God of prophetic anger, be with those who rage this day.  Help all of us to know that it is OK to feel rage, to feel numb, to feel grief in any of its many forms.  Channel our anger into lasting change, O God.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Make us instruments of your justice and peace.

 

God who remembers, may we not forget the over 17,000 lives that have been lost to gun violence in our country this year.  May the memory of their lives be a blessing.  May the memory of their deaths be a catalyst for transformational change.

 

God of the Psalmist, you who hears the laments of our hearts, the sighs of our spirits, the tears of our grief, be near to us now, O Lord.

 

Lord, in your mercy,

Make us instruments of your justice and peace.

 

Amen.


Rev. Angela Wells (she/her) is an ordained United Methodist pastor who resides in Maryland with her wife, two kids, and two cats.


Image by: Pixabay
Used with permission
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