Encouraging Myself …

Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. … Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found

Litany for Gun Violence (Fran Pratt)

The answer is always and ever will be prayer.  This litany written by Fran Pratt (The Vineyard Church, Austin TX) – can be used as a personal prayer or as a responsive reading.  I encourage you to use this as one of your prayer guides in these days.

God,

We approach You now, in a time of mourning and lament.

How long, Oh Lord, must we wait for justice and peace?  How long must we wait for all things to be made new?

We acknowledge that guns are tools:  They have been used to defend good. They have been used to perpetrate evil.

We acknowledge that human lives lost are mounting up, tragically and abominably.  We acknowledge that the subject of gun control and gun rights is a touchy, divisive one.  We acknowledge our tendency to close our ears to the voices of those who disagree with us.  We acknowledge that policies as they stand are not working very well.  We acknowledge our distrust of government leaders to faithfully care for us.

We are afraid:  That we might not be able to protect ourselves; That losing part of one right might set us on a path to losing them all; That our children might grow up in a world less-civilized than our own; That more children and innocents will lose their lives in the coming days; That our hopes and dreams will be unobtainable in an unsafe society; That the many will suffer for the sins of a few; That freedom is a bygone idea.

We pray for our leaders:  May they come together in unity, seeking a way forward.  May unity be, not a pipe-dream, but a reality.  May they find a way to both protect the rights of those who would defend goodness, and deter evil-doers.  May they be guided by You toward policy that respects the rights of all, and protects innocents.  May each side set aside its own agenda in favor of the good of all.  May the good and righteous overcome the greedy and pernicious.

We pray for peace, and set our fear out in the light of Your love.

We long for the day when we will beat our swords into ploughshares; When tools for destruction will be used for creation, beauty, and sustenance; When the lion will lie down with the lamb, and a little child will lead them.

May the day of Christ Jesus come quickly.

Amen

See Fran’s tips for using her litanies publicly at http://www.franpratt.com/use-a-litany/

Kyrie Eleison …

mercy

11 officers ambushed in downtown Dallas … I’m heartbroken …

Have mercy on us, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out our transgressions. Wash away all our iniquity and cleanse us from our sin. Grant us your grace, not only for salvation but to teach us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. Remind us of the truth of Your Word – that if we forgive other people when they sin against us, our heavenly Father will also forgive us. Remind us of the truth that eye for eye was not the measure of justice, but a control put on us so that we would not exact more than we should from another because of the sin in our own hearts. Grant us the grace to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, but rather think of ourselves with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of us. We Need You Now! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.