These Prayers of the People were created by St. Thomas’ Parish, Dupont Circle in Washington, DC as a prayerful response to use in worship in response to tragic acts of gun violence:
Beloved friends, in this season of repentance and healing, we accept God’s
invitation to be ever-mindful of the needs of others, offering our prayers on behalf of
God’s community in the church and the world.
Giver of Life and Love, you created all people as one family and called us to live together in harmony and peace. Surround us with your love as we once again face the challenges and tragedies of gun violence. For our dear ones, for our neighbors, for strangers, and those known to you alone, Loving God, Make us instruments of your peace.
God of Righteousness, you have given our leaders, especially Donald, our President, the members of Congress, the judges of our courts and members of our legislatures, power and responsibility to protect us. For all who bear such responsibility, for all who struggle to discern what is right in the face of powerful political forces, Loving God, Make us instruments of your peace.
God of Compassion, we give you thanks for first responders, for police officers, firefighters and EMTs, and all those whose duties bring them to the streets, the malls, the schools, the churches, and the homes where the carnage of gun violence takes place day after day. For our brothers and sisters who risk their lives and their serenity as they rush to our aid, Loving God, Make us instruments of your peace.
Merciful God, bind up the wounds of all who suffer from gun violence, those maimed and disfigured, those left alone and grieving, and those who struggle to get through one more day. Bless them with your presence and help them find hope. For all whose lives are forever marked by the scourge of gun violence, Loving God, Make us instruments of your peace.
God of Resurrection, may we not forget those who have died in the gun violence that we have allowed to become routine. Receive them into your heart and comfort us with your promise of eternal love and care. For all who have died at the shooting in Parkland, Florida, those who die today, and those who will die tomorrow, Loving God, Make us instruments of your peace.
God of Justice, help us, your church, find our voice. Empower us to change this broken world and to protest the needless deaths caused by gun violence. Give us power to rise above our fear that nothing can be done and grant us the conviction to advocate for change. For your dream of love and harmony, Loving God, Make us instruments of your peace.
Celebrant: O God, hear the prayers of your faithful people. Show us how to live in the spirit of our baptism, even when we are led into wild and hard places. Work through our confusion and doubt, and give us strength to resist the ways of the tempter. Amen.