A Prayer for Orlando

Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord.

We weep for the lives of fifty people senselessly gunned down in Orlando, the largest mass killing in US history.

Many more have been seriously wounded.

There is no magic in the city of the Magic Kingdom to bring them back.

Lord, hear our voice!

We are tired of the killing, God.

Why is there so much hate in our world?

Do you hear us, God?

Why did you create us this way, with the capacity for great evil as well as great good?

Why won’t you intervene, instead leaving us to simply grieve?

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Let your ears be attentive to the voice of our supplications!

Two guns are purchased the week before, one an assault weapon.

Why are we so fascinated with our guns, God?

A gay nightclub is targeted, the killer swearing allegiance to the leader of ISIS shortly before the shooting.

A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel and dozens of parents are weeping for their children; they refuse to be comforted for their children because they are no more. (Jeremiah 31:15)

If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.

What do I say, God, when asked why we have to confess our own sins as an act of repentance in atoning for the sins of our ancestors and others, including atrocities against Native Americans and African Americans?

What do I say? I have not committed mass murder, but I, too, am a sinner, and bear the weight of collective sin.

Merciful God, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have failed to be an obedient church.
We have not done your will,
we have broken your law,
we have rebelled against your love,
    we have not loved our neighbors,
    and we have not heard the cry of the needy.
Forgive us, we pray. Free us for joyful obedience,
   through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.

Waiting for your kingdom to come doesn’t have to be passive, God. In fact, we are the ones you call to bring in your kingdom. You are already there when a young man sees another gravely wounded at the nightclub and holds him close to stem the flow of blood. He says, “I don’t know if you are religious, but I am going to say a prayer for you.”

Thank you, God, that in times of crisis, you give us strength we never knew we had and the ability to help and comfort others and pray in ways we never knew we were capable of.

Thank you for the outpouring of love and support for our LGBTQI brothers and sisters around the world, which reminds us again that that every person in this world is fearfully and loving created by you and that each one is your beloved.

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O Israel, hope in the LORD!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.

The hope is in us. That’s what you whisper in our ear every day, God.

“You, too, are a sign of hope,” God says.

“Will you bear witness to my love in this world in a way that decries gun violence, discrimination against the LGBTQI community, disdain toward refugees, rejection of  the poor, and dismissal of all those who are deemed to be ‘other’?

“Each one is my beloved, including you. If you are not willing to replace hate with love, who will?”

Laurie

9 thoughts on “A Prayer for Orlando

  1. Thank you, Laurie! What a beautiful weaving together of ancient scripture and the thoughts of the last 36+ hours!!

  2. Powerful beautiful words , thank you Laurie for the words, for you insight and for you continued guidance in times like these..

  3. Bless you, Laurie. You voiced my thoughts with eloquence, insight and power. I find myself returning to your essay when I am feeling over whelmed. This will help me through the next days. Your message is a treasure chest of counsel.
    Thank you

  4. Thank you for your caring thoughts, dear Laurie. We miss you so much!
    It is so hard to keep seeing all these hateful things. We cannot help but
    wonder where God is. Hard to keep believing in these times.

    Blessings to you and love as always.

  5. Father, please heal the holes in our souls, ripped from us by the violence against our brother and sisters. Guns are merely weapons of violent souls, which desperately need healing.. Heavenly Father, please heal the violent souls, and comfort us with your strength. In the name of our sweet Lord ~ Amen

  6. Laurie–Your beautiful prayer will be echoing off the walls of Clark Retirement community as I am using them for the Leadership Circle devotion today and sending them to all of the employees and residents of Clark. O Lord, hear our prayers!

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