September 21, 2016


God our Shelter, cover us beneath the shadow of your wings

      as we draw before you in sorrow for the violence that is rending us asunder

Our hearts are heavy as another mother weeps over the broken body of her son

We grieve the wounding of neighbors, in body and spirit,

as city streets fill with angry voices and cries for justice

and the very fabric of our common life seems caught in a crossfire

        of fear and anger and hurt that will not subside


Our shoulders are bowed beneath the weight of our fear and longing,

Our hands reach out to grasp a justice that seems illusion,

Our hearts cry for a peace that seems so far off.

Our voices are hoarse, thick with tears,

as we pray for a way forward for all of your children

A way of justice and fairness for all,

A way beyond racism and violence and privilege

For the courage to change ourselves and our land

For faith and action that can bind us together,

        rather than further tear apart the fabric of our common life.


We pray for our neighbors in Charlotte, in Tulsa

       and in so many other communities past and yet to come      

We pray for ourselves, that this hurt will not fade from our minds

    before our hearts are broken open with Your passion for justice, mercy and love


We are all too aware of our flawed humanity

    the cost of our lack of fidelity to your kin-dom

     and to the promise of liberty and justice for all

        that once upon a time shined as a light in the darkness

           guiding our commonwealth toward Promise.

We ask you might forgive us and turn us once again toward you


 Show up among us

      in our cities, our neighbors, and ourselves--

      in the midst of extrajudicial violence and uncivil life

      in the angry streets: oh, show up in our midst!

A Stranger without privilege or place

A Justice beyond hope

A Peace that passes understanding--

Emmanuel, God with us.


In the name of your broken and resurrected son Jesus, we pray.  Amen.


The Rev. Dr. Laurie A. Kraus

Coordinator, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

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