Spend a few moments centering your mind and heart on God. You could silently or quietly repeat this prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Pray the following liturgy together:
Christ Our King,
Our world is overtaken by unexpected calamity,
and by a host of attending fears, worries, and insecurities.
We witness suffering, confusion, and hardship multiplied around us,
and we find ourselves swept up in these same anxieties and troubles,
dismayed by so many uncertainties.
Now we turn to you, O God, in this season of our common distress.
Be merciful, O Christ,
to those who suffer, to those who worry, to those who grieve,
to those who are threatened or harmed in any way by this upheaval.
Let your holy compassions be active throughout the world even now—
tending the afflicted, comforting the brokenhearted, and bringing hope to many who are hopeless.
Use even these hardships to woo our hearts nearer to you, O God.
Indeed, O Father, may these days of disquiet become a catalyst for conviction and repentance,
for the tendering of our affections, for the stirring of our sympathies,
for the refining of our love.
We are your people, who are called by you,
We need not be troubled or alarmed.
© “A Liturgy for a Time of Widespread Suffering” by Douglas Mckelvey in Every Moment Holy
Read the following passage thoughtfully:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Spend time praying through the previous passage. You could follow these suggestions:
- Lament the situations where these beatitudes are not displayed in our own lives, in the church, and in our country.
- Thank God for the way in which these beatitudes are perfectly displayed in Jesus.
- Ask that Jesus would work in us and the church in the United States to live out these beatitudes that we might be salt and light to our country.
- Pray for those who are suffering physically, emotionally, relationally, and economically.
- Pray for our leaders, for them to have the wisdom and humility to live out these beatitudes.
Come and hear our pain, O God.
Come near and hear our complaint.
Violence is singing a victory song, and our arms are hanging limp at our sides.
Our tears cannot stop.
Violence has cut us. Bleeding, we stand together now.
Make us brave enough to stand in front of violence and call it a thief and liar.
ALL: In your mercy, make all things new again.
Make us lion-hearted, roaring at the acts of violence around us,
More dedicated to the common good than our own preservation.
May we learn to place those who are hurting first and ourselves second.
ALL: In your mercy, make us brave again.
Make us mercy, calling to those committing the violence.
Like lost lambs living in darkness, drinking bitterness, disconnected from their true selves,
May we call them back to the fold, shouting loudly that they are created for life not death;
Kinship not killing; love not hate.
ALL: In your love, make us family again.
Make us ploughshares, sowing peace by renouncing every act of violence committed by our friends, our country, or our enemies.
May we refuse to be weapons against our brothers and sisters.
ALL: In your power, make us peaceful again.
Make us fearless, relentlessly waging peace instead of war.
Refusing to accept any act that cuts, kills, and breaks down people made in your image—
No matter if they wear the uniform of police officer, pastor, politician, or soldier.
ALL: As our Good Parent, make us fierce peacemakers again.
For those who have laid down their lives for others
And who have joined God in the unseen kingdom.
For those who have died to the kingdom of death
And who have risen to life with Christ in their breath.
All: We raise our hope because joy comes in the morning!
© Diana Oestreich in Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice
Is He Worthy? by Andrew Peterson