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