Prayer in the Face of a Rampage Shooting
The bullets ripped their flesh,
and tear our souls, Lord God.
Flashing from nowhere,
unseen, unforeseen, perhaps unforeseeable,
lives of promise ended,
others mangled by hot steel
and the shrapnel lodged in hearts too stunned to cry.
How long, O Lord? How long?
And for the shooter, Lord,
What break in heart, or mind, or flesh
moved, possessed, demanded him
to stalk these down like prey?
paralyzed before the mystery
We open our mouths,
and join the silence of the disbelieving.
Hear us, Lord.
Heal us, Lord.
A note about this prayer:
Some people and congregations may not be ready to offer prayers for the forgiveness at this time. You may wish to replace the simple word "Forgive" with a more generic prayer such as "Have mercy" or another expression appropriate in your context.