We began our diocesan senior staff meeting this morning with a prayer for the victims of Saturday’s senseless mass shooting at a Chinese-owned ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park, California. With a heavy heart, I share that prayer here:

O God of mercy and grace, You bring hope in the midst of senseless tragedy and light in the midst of deepest darkness: we confess our need for the Risen Christ as we face into the realities of gun violence in the United States. We are mindful especially of the innocent people who perished or were wounded as they celebrated the start of the Lunar New Year, normally an occasion for joy, hope, and peace, at a ballroom dance center in Monterey Park.

We grieve with those loved ones who lost their lives in this shooting, and for so many in other shootings across this nation. We lift to Your compassion, the injured, and pray for your healing grace. May You walk with them, dear Lord, in the valley of the shadow of death.

Deliver this nation, almighty God, from profound anxiety and anger. Help all of us to see Your hand at work in the world about us. We bring before you those who serve in the Senate and the House of Representatives and ask that You guide them with wisdom and fairness in dealing with the meaning of the Second Amendment. Convert our minds and hearts to give all citizens a proper perspective in the use of firearms.

Release your Holy Spirit, o God, to put our full faith and trust in you. Let Your peace which passes all understanding and direct us to be peacemakers in times of anguish and sorrow. Bless us and sustain us now, and in every time of challenge, through Jesus Christ, the King of peace. Amen.

*Adapted from “A Prayer for the Nation in the Midst of Gun Violence,” from the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer

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