O LORD, we come to you in prayer this week, especially thinking of the pain in the world around us, that we hear on the news. While we celebrate with those who are joyous, with many reasons to celebrate, at the same time, we also pray for those in pain.
This week, dear Lord, there seems so much violence and loss. Please be with all those who are grieving, ill, injured; for lives lost around the world, for families broken apart and shattered dreams. Some from accidents, but too many situations, dear Lord, are coming from your children who are making choice to take the lives of their very own brothers and sisters. In some cases, your children are turning things in their minds so that these people are less than human to them, so need to be exterminated, terrorized, destroyed. Please help show us what to do in these situations. O God, have mercy upon us and hear our prayers.
This past week we prayed as nine saintly people were laid to rest, killed at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, USA by a young stranger who came into their Bible study. The racist hate in the young man's heart this day overcame the kindness shown to him by those who offered him hospitality, killing and wounding them simply because they were black and the young white man wished to express his hatred in a highly visible way. We pray for this church, this community, and black lives, any lives who are subject to racist attacks and injustice. We pray for the shooter, and his family. O Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.
Then we hear of another senseless act of violence on a beach in the Tunisian resort of Sousse; restful beauty and peace shattered by a young man with terrorist violence in his mind, taking lives young and old, families, and peace. We pray especially for the people of Great Britain who mourn the loss of 30 lives among the 38 killed. We pray for all lost in this terrible way, for those who grieve, who are recovering, who are working on ways to prevent this from happening again. Our God, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
Also we are hearing word of over 200 in Nigeria, attacked and killed by terrorists in their villages and houses of faith, of people rounded up and killed as they slept, as they prayed, as they sought to escape these killers. We pray for all those victims to these terrorists, those kidnapped, tortured, maimed, and killed. We pray for the children were hear being executed for holding onto their own faith, for being students and having hopes and dreams. We pray for families, for those left alone, for those struggling to know what to do, how to go on. We also pray for you to touch the hearts of those doing these acts of killing and terror. May they find a growing sense of horror at the blood on their hands, of compassion for all of your people, of courage to stand up against those leading them against their brothers and sisters. O Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
We also pray this week for the victims of the MB Nirvana ferry that capsized in the Philippines, 60 or more lives lost, others missing, injured. Please be with the families of those so tragically and suddenly lost, please be with the rescuers in their efforts to save those they can, bring peace to the families of those lost. O Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
We pray for the families grieving their loved ones killed in plane crash in Sumatra, and the rescuers seeking to help. O Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
We pray for all places where their is pain, and fighting, and loss and violence, in Japan, Austria, San Francisco USA, Mali, Iraq, Egypt, and continuing in Syria, and so many other places where your people suffer violence, loss, and pain, but not mentioned here. We pray for Greece in their time of great financial need and uncertainty, and for the United States of America who celebrates their birth this Fourth of July. We pray for the leaders to make wise decisions, to work together for the good of all people. O Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
We pray for the people of Pakistan, suffering a terrible heat wave, and those lives lost there. We continue to pray for the Christians in Pakistan who are suffering from persecution, but finding mighty ways to serve as your disciples, even in times of trial. We pray for the people of the northwest region of Xinjiang, China, struck by a 6.5 earthquake, causing much destruction, some loss of life, injuries. O Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Please help us, Lord to work harder, better, to work better, to bring peace to the world. Please be with each person who is reading this prayer. Hear their special calls to you, and bring them your peace. Hear their special thanksgivings to you, and bring a mighty sense of your grace and mercy.
In all we do, dear Lord, please help us to be disciples of Christ, light bearers of your love that can change the world from a place of terror to a place of peace, from one consumed by hate and violence to a place enfolded in your love and your grace. O Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.
And we give thanks for hearing our prayers, for being our God, for your compassion and guidance, your greatness in all creation. For it is in the name of your son Jesus we pray, Amen.