Our hearts are overwhelmed with grief as we consider the senseless acts of violence in Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy last week. The reality of the sin and brokenness of our world is on display as precious people made in your image were murdered; as families and communities are left heartbroken and confused as they now imagine life without loved-ones. The power of evil is palpable as these men chose to pursue wicked desires instead of obedience to you and love for others. What makes matters worse is the fact that such violent acts seem to be increasingly common. How long, O Lord, will this go on?
God, we ask for your help in time of great need. We pray as Jesus taught us to pray; May your kingdom come. May your rule and reign conquer the darkness. We pray that your Spirit would comfort those who mourn. We ask that somehow you would bring hope to those suffering. May you be a refuge and strength to those who are under the crushing weight of grief. We pray for our hurting and fractured nation to know the healing power of Christ.
Lord, we collectively long for the day when Christ will return and establish his peace and justice. We eagerly await the return of our Savior King. On that day, sin will be no more. Death will be a mere memory. Jesus will wipe away every tear. Violence and suffering will dissipate and eternal joy will be our song.
Lord, make us ready with hearts of faith in our Savior that we may not despair on that day because our sins are judged. Instead, may we rejoice on that day because our sins have been laid upon our Suffering Savior Jesus Christ, the Lamb who was slain.
Father, though our hearts are heavy, we still praise you. Though our minds are often confused by suffering, we do not cease to glorify your name. Our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend the depth of your will and your ways.
So we cling to the truths you have revealed to us in your word; You are good and you are God. We trust your sovereign hand because we know the kindness of your loving heart. We draw near to your throne of grace with confidence in the time of need because you have brought us near through the cross of Christ.
Lord, come quickly. Amen.