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Praying for school safety

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Lord, God, We grieve at the latest school violence! How horrible and offensive to you and to our children that two school shooters harmed and killed high school students this week , so soon after they returned to school! Protect our children , God! Oh, Lord, change our culture! Change our hearts as a people! Comfort our children  who are traumatized. Rescue those kids who feel that violence is the answer to their fear and pain. Lord, change our country : our government, public health, and school systems so that we can correct the environment and affects of violence and despair. Forgive us for our prejudices, our hatred, our insecurity, all of which come from a wrong view of you and a wrong view of God.  I confess the violence of our youth and our citizens. Lord, reign your mercy down. Hold back your vengeance and share your healing. May we accept and live out your salvation . In Jesus' name,  Amen. "Bring to an end the  violence  of the wicked and make the righteous secure—

Lament and confession over gun violence

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Oh. Lord, There's been another mass shooting. I can't imagine how your heart hurts to see your creation turn on itself. End the violence in our country. I intercede, Lord, for the victims and the victimizers that live in this country and call themselves Americans. I am sick of the violence, shamed by it, grieved by it, astonished by the normalization of mass shootings. We have blood on our hands. We may not have personally committed these atrocities, but many times we have shaken our heads, cast judgment, and gone about our day anyway. Lord, show each of us how we can help change this problem. Massage our hearts toward compassion, justice, and care. Give us discernment about the gun-violence problem, the sin-problem, and the mental-health problem that must be addressed and corrected. We are a country--and a world--filled with desperate people  who cannot find a way to solve their own heart and mind issues except to lash out against one another. We gossip, we malign, we injure,

A lament about violence

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  Oh, Lord, This is a lament about violence.  Our hearts are grieved but not surprised at the violence and encouragement toward violence that's been occurring in this country.  There is no limit to the senseless hatred and selfishness that transpires when we do not seek your kingdom first. Forgive us, Lord, for our partisanship and hatred for one another. Forgive us for our inconsistent laws and prejudiced perspectives. Forgive us for consulting political consultants instead of you. Forgive us for turning on one another because we disagree. Lord, we need to repent individually and corporately.  Restore power and order through the body of Christ. Let it spill out and influence our local and national leaders. May our churches lead the cause of compassion and restitution. Protect our law enforcement . Protect innocent bystanders. Bring perpetrators to justice. Vengeance belongs to you. We ask you to work through our justice system fairly. Give our country another chance to radiate

Lament for a homicide: when a child kills a child

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Dear God, You understand heartbreak.  You know what it is to lose a child to senseless violence . Lord, fall on us and blanket our misery! Bring vengeance on the perpetrators of injustice. This latest act of violence against a child sickens and saddens me. No parent should lose a child because someone else's child is angry, confused, or traumatized. Or just a sinner, committing a sin. And now another child has died. Sometimes the killed child is an unborn baby. Sometimes it's a neglected child. Sometimes it's a teenager, caught up in drugs or theft  or just being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes a child's death is caused by someone's trauma , someone's desperation, someone's mental illness someone's cruelty. It's shocking what we humans are capable of doing. It's all so horrible, and I know it grieves you. You desire hope, healing, peace, love, forgiveness, restitution, belonging. May my heart always break when your heart break

Relief for the marginalized

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Lord Jesus, Bring relief to the marginalized people in this country. Comfort the grieving families of this recent attack in Georgia. Bring awareness, empathy, and compassion to all of us-- but particularly your children-- so that we reach out to those who wander, suffer with those who hurt,  and offer belonging to everyone. I pray your special blessing on Asian-Americans, on immigrant children separated from their parents, on single parent-families living in poverty, on inner-city kids without the resources to reach their dreams. Fill each with the assurance of your love and a desire to know you. Comfort and protect them. And God, change us into your image before them! Stir our hearts to break down stereotypes, partisanship, and elitism and embrace the diverse world you created. You love us all. You offer salvation freely to everyone. You call us to reach the world. Now convict us to reach the world you've brought to us, to think of safety for all instead of safety for ourselves. H

An American Prayer: Lament & Confession

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Oh, Lord, King of heaven and earth, how you must be grieved. My heart is broken over the sins of my country and especially the Church. I can't imagine the heartbreak you have, and I can't fathom the hope and patience you also have for us when we sin. I confess the sins of my country. I confess our disunity, our rage, our insatiable desire for revenge . I confess our idolatry of wealth, class, power, fame, and self-righteousness. I confess our desire to condemn, hate, judge, blame, and kill one another. We're obsessed with our own comfort and security, to the detriment of anyone else. I confess our unflagging determination to idolize people: celebrities, politicians, millionaires, leaders of any field, as if they have the answers for life,  when You are the only one with answers. I confess our desire to win, to make teams, to align ourselves with political platforms and policies, to elevate elections, political races, and national power over loving our brothers and sisters

Forgive us, for we have sinned: A unilateral confession of racism

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Oh Lord, the God of all peoples- You tell us to confess our sins, the sins of our country, to one another and for one another. If we are truly righteous, we will take ownership of the sins of our land. We have sinned for generations. We have been arrogant, violent, heartless, and ignorant--for generations upon generations. And now, our hatred and violence surprises us and devastates us. Let our confession prompt your forgiveness. Let forgiveness motivate us to make restitution to those we've sinned against. "Therefore  confess  your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." ( James 5:17 ) We have worshipped our own success, our own privilege, our own destiny, for generations, to the peril of others. We are reaping the legacy of that self-absorption and ignorance, let alone the hatred and violence that preceded it. "I, the  Lord  your God, am a jealous

Intercession for Afghanistan

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" The   Lord   is a refuge   for the oppressed,  a stronghold in times of trouble." (Psalm 9:9) Lord God, You see every man, woman, and child in Afghanistan. You see Christians persecuted for their faith. You see women subjugated for their gender. You see men terrified to oppose the Taliban. You see terrorists hungry for violence . You see a people trying to stay alive. You love them, and you are calling them to yourself. God, grant protection over your Afghani children. Bring them into a knowledge and acceptance of you. Protect them and assist them in finding safety. Bring repentance and salvation to those who do evil against their fellow-man. Convict us who are free to help those oppressed by evil forces and blinded by evil philosophies. May we never ignore the misfortunes of those who haven't yet believed in you. God, give us wisdom, compassion, and motivation to assist the people of Afghanistan. We call on your great power as we intercede for these terrified peop

A prayer for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict & a confession of perspective

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  Dear Lord God, Jehovah, I pray for peace and protection in Jerusalem and its surrounding areas ( Acts 1:8 ), for the Israelis and Palestinians and the age-old conflict between them. You love both groups of people. You walked their streets, healed their sick, and prayed on their hillsides. You understand the divisions and hostilities there, and you still long to draw every person to yourselves like a hen gathers her chicks ( Matthew 23:37 ). Help us, in the West, to pray for souls over governments . Give us compassion and mission for all people ( Matthew 28:19-20 ). Convict us when we politicize oppression and applaud violence . I confess our ignorance and our judgment, our self-congratulations and pious condemnations. We are sinners who need you, just like everyone in the world. May we be a light to the whole world, not just the world we think we understand. Help us to pray for those who need your healing touch and protective hand. I want to serve you in the way that glorifies you

Prayer for law enforcement

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Oh, Lord, I pray for our law enforcement. I pray for the safety of our officers and elected officials. I pray for the emotional and mental stamina to endure and the spiritual awareness to do what's right in every situation, to trust you and to trust righteousness. I ask for the safety of their homes and families. I pray against any more loss of life from any side. Give our officers and leaders compassion, mercy, courage, goodness, and a godly sense of justice. Convict those who have sinned and change their hearts toward their fellow-man. Affirm those who have served faithfully and give them favor with everyone. I pray for healing of their hearts and their spirits, for the emotional damage that's been done. May this time of unrest bring awareness rather than hostility, a desire for fairness rather than revenge . Lord, end the violence in this country by changing hearts. Help us to see you, honor you, and uplift you in every situation and through e

Teach us to love like you

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Lord, God of love and justice, Teach us to love like you, and not hate in the way that comes naturally. Not to hold grudges. Not to act in violence. Not to assume the worst. Not to secretly rejoice when an enemy stumbles. Not to have enemies. Teach us to hate sin and love the sinner. We are sinners. Each of us, is no better than another in God's eyes. God does not love any of us more than any other, so why should we? Teach our leaders to love-- our governors, mayors, judges, prosecutors, and lawmakers to govern from a place of love and righteousness, not power, privilege, or prejudice. By this will all men know that we are your disciples, if we have love one for another. We don't get to choose who to love. That's not loving like you because you chose all of us. But you left the decision up to us. Heal our land through love. Love is justice . Love is collective responsibility. Love is mercy and grace and accountability. Love is being willin

Prayer over the synagogue shooting

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Lord Jehovah--Yahweh-- I lift up the hearts and minds of devout Jews everywhere, especially in Pittsburgh. Comfort them and give them the peace only you can provide. Protect them from evildoers, from violent people, from the shooting down of hope, freedom, and faith. Protect their hearts from the pain of violent words, from the cowards, the bigots, and the self-righteous in our land. Heal these dear people. May they never renounce faith in you because of persecution. May they seek the Lord while He may be found. May they implore the God of heaven to rescue and comfort them. May they recognize the Messiah. Thank you for the outpouring of love from people of many faiths-- this is God at work in hearts and lives. Comfort the Jewish doctors and staff that suffered their own trauma while attending to the shooter in the hospital. You are a God of justice, and I pray for justice on Robert Bowers. I pray that he repents and turns to you. I pray that he asks forg

A prayer for your college student

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Oh, Lord, My heart is heavy, and my anxiety is heightened, so my soul looks to you. Only you can help me to rest in your plans and your protection for my college student as he returns to school. I lift up my college student to you and place him into your care. Guard his mind from harmful influences, from secular reasoning and humanistic values, from fundamentalist and judgmental attitudes that create pride and harden hearts. Holy Spirit, speak daily into his heart and mind, reminding him of truth and life. When he is bombarded with secular philosophies and agendas, give him intuition and question truth to seek answers from your Word. Strengthen his courage to stand for justice and righteousness in a world gone crazy with hate and violence. Surround him with a Christian community and friend group (even one person, Lord!). Help him to make deep friendships quickly with students and teachers who will edify and encourage him, who will not degrade or deride him, but wi

Prayer for Charlottesville

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Lord, Comforter and Redeemer, Take these troubled times and bring good from them. Somehow, throw your spirit of comfort like a mantle over the grieving, over those traumatized by the Charlottesville rally, and most of all over those injured and killed there. Infiltrate their homes and their conversations-- let your spirit be felt. Comfort those grieving for loved ones lost through senseless violence. Bring justice, swift and sure. Not revenge. That is not your way. But justice, peace, and sanity to a situation raging out of control. May this tragedy in Charlottesville wake up a sleepy country to the ravages of deep-seated prejudice and hatred. Somehow, draw us toward your spirit of wisdom, fill us with a desire and determination to be loving, forgiving, compassionate, determined. Give us the courage to stand for righteousness, to shirk stubbornness and pride, to abhor hatred. Change us. And even while you work so great a miracle, lighten the heavy hearts of

A prayer for Earth Day

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Lord, Creator of the Earth, It's Earth Day. Lord, help us to protect and care for your earth, because that's the job you gave mankind to do. May our care for Earth point us toward you! Lord, may the whole earth see you today in your sunrise and sunset, in the flowers and trees, in the animal kingdom, in the fury of storms and the radiance of daylight. Lord, may each of us display grace, mercy, kindness, and love because that's who you are and we are made in your image. May the whole earth sing your praises and revel in your majesty. The earth is yours, and we all belong to you. I pray your Spirit over the earth. Lord, bring souls to yourself today because they see you everywhere they look. Help me reflect your glory and goodness today. May I not despair, worry, or panic because the earth is filled with violence and abuse. You are moving rulers and changing nations. You will bring all glory to yourself. I trust you, and I worship you! Amen.

Prayer for my sponsored child

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Dear Lord, You provide and equip us for the journeys we take. Please provide a covering from evil and protection from violence for my sponsored child. Keep the enemy away from his family and his future. Give him hope, courage, and resilience to live in his present situation. Help him to know You and love You. I pray for his salvation and surrender to Your will. I pray for spiritual influences in his life that give him a picture of You and Your love. Give him a hope and a future of Your designing. May he always walk in Your ways. I thank you for the privilege of speaking into his life and loving him. Your grace is unfathomable. Thank you for loving me enough to involve me in Your important work. Make me faithful to Your calling. I love you! And I love this child. May he grow up in the confidence of both. Amen.

Praying comfort over grief

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Dear God of all comfort, You get grief. It sucks, doesn't it? Grief interrupts the joy of living and suffocates you. It's like dying but knowing you will eventually come up for air, and you will not pass out. You will live through it. You get it. You felt grief in the sharpest way possible. You were betrayed and rejected by the object of your love and sacrifice. And then you were rejected by your Father. You bore the weight of the sins of the whole world--the horrific acts of violence, cruelty, and debauchery. You felt them and You wore them as You died. And because You know what grief is, You are the only true comforter. So comfort us. Spread Your peace like a quilt over the shoulders of those who grieve parents, children, and the lives they hoped to live. Give each of us hope and confidence that You have a plan for us--You will prosper and keep us in Your perfect will. Grief is just a part of Your will. It's just not the part we wanted to experience. To und

Prayer for Belgium

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Our Lord, our Banner and our Savior, I pray for your protection and blessing on the people of Belgium. I pray for you to reveal yourself to them through the love of Christ and those who believe on you. Give missionaries, pastors, and priests there the compassion and strength to share the love of God. Unite people in humanitarian efforts. Holy Spirit, halt the hate and the fear and cover people with your peace. Protect and keep us and draw us to yourself. I ask for your Spirit to convict the hardened hearts of the terrorists involved, causing them to confess their sins and assist authorities in stopping the violence. It would seem impossible, but with God, all things are possible! Prompt hearts and minds to turn toward you, the only protector of our souls and the one who loves us with everlasting love! I ask this in Jesus' name, Amen. image from http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=belgium+flag