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Prayer in the Aftermath of Tragedy (Virginia Tech)

God of the swirling stars and spinning planets,
the universe barely holds our grief this day.

We struggle to understand the tragedy of violence
whenever it strikes,
and now in the aftermath of unspeakable horrors
on the campus of Virginia Tech.

There is no comprehending the loss and heartache we feel.
Apprehension stirs in our hearts and minds.
Questions of why and how have barely formed on our lips
when we realize how inadequate and ill timed they are.

As our nation grieves, we are bound together in prayer.

Bring comfort, we pray, to everyone touched by this tragedy.

Bring peace to all whose hearts are broken,
especially the families of students and faculty who were killed.

Bring solace to the family of the gunman.

Help your people everywhere to live courageously,
not being overcome by anxiety or fear,
but overcoming even these in the spirit of love.

May we who follow Jesus live our faith audaciously,
embracing one another and all people in peace,
and walking together into the future with hope.

For in the mystery of the Word made flesh
you continue to come into this world —
silently, imperceptibly, convincingly —
to give birth to your love through our lives.

In these most difficult times, you remain our strength,
our consolation, our rock, and our redeemer. Amen.

Dr. Richardson is pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Los Osos, California.

"Prayer in the Aftermath of Tragedy." Copyright © 2007 The Rev. Dr. Mark Richardson. Published by Discipleship Ministries. Any local church or United Methodist agency may reprint any or all of this page as long as the following copyright notice appears: "Copyright © 2007 The Rev. Dr. Mark Richardson. Published by Discipleship Ministries. Used with permission."

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