Transform Our Lament and Heartbreak Into Hope

Bishop Jennifer offered the closing prayer at the Bishops United Against Gun Violence witness at the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church on July 8:

Gracious God, lover of souls, we stand before you in our pain and grief for those who have died by gun violence. We remember the dead whose names we know and those who are killed with little notice. We pray for those injured by guns and those who live with the daily threat of violence, bodily harm, and mortal danger. We pray you to do for us that which we cannot do for ourselves: transform our lament and heartbreak into hope and our isolation and fear into courage.

We ask your presence, blessing, and peace upon us as we depart from this place and we pray because we are witnesses, empower us, O God, to commit to action that will end the bloodshed, disrupt the patterns of violence that have become too commonplace, that we would lay down the instruments of our national grief. We pray for you to do for us that which we cannot do for ourselves: help us find common ground on firearms by advocacy, legislation, and policy change.

We pray, because we are the change, open our hearts, O God, that we might make ourselves truly available to you and one another to fearlessly walk the Way of Love. Unbind us from toxic masculinity, xenophobia, racism, sexism and bias that leads to the violence we deplore.

We pray, open our hands, O God, that we might release the weapons of death and instead find our strength and new life in the gentle embrace of Jesus the Christ. In the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God let us say, Amen.

photo credit:  Merrick Ales