Wednesday, May 25, 2011

a prayer against violence

"We bring to you all who have been affected by physical, sexual, political, and emotional violence.

We pray for those who have died violently because of hatred, mistrust or wanton destruction: 
Heal the violence that may also have battered our souls.

We pray for those who have suffered abuse, injury or death for reasons of prejudice and fear: 
Open our hearts that we may find joy in our differences.

We pray for the children whose innocence and trust has been shattered by sexual predators: 
Give them strength and courage to face the days ahead.

We pray for all who have been survivors of sexual violence:
Heal their shame.

We pray for those whose outstretched hands have experienced only bruises and broken bones: 
Help us to hold them with hands of love and tenderness.

We pray for those whose self-inflicted wounds and for those who do not hear their cries: 
Send them messengers of your grace and love.

We pray for those who are assaulted by words,
Heal them and make them whole.

We pray for those whose lives are lived in fear and dreaded expectation of the next attack upon them: 
Wrap them in your arms of compassion.

We pray for those who have sought love only to find hatred in return: 
May they come to know your unconditional love.

We pray for those who are too angry or too hurt to give voice to their own prayers: 
Bless their anger against you and hear the pain in their heart.

We pray for those who are neglected, abandoned or hungry: 
May they find a safe refuge and a community who will love them.

We pray for the men and women, both young and old, and in between, who may never again know your gift of intimacy because of the violence they have suffered: 
Help them to learn to trust again.

We pray for the families and friends of those who have been wronged for we know they, too, bear some of the hurt, rage and anger: 
Unite them in love that their bonding may become a source of strength.

We pray for ourselves that we may be aware of the violence within ourselves and within the culture we live: 
Help us to return to your path of love.

Most blessed God,  whose will it is for us to live a life free of violence:
We have brought before you this night those who have suffered through the actions of others; those who bear on their bodies and in their bodies the scars of anger and the wounds of hate.
Be with them in your compassion and strengthen them in your love.
Heal the wounds that afflict them and the fears that hold them captive.
Strengthen, too, all families and friends who care for survivors that through their love and support your healing grace may be made manifest.
We pray your blessing upon us who are gathered here and upon all survivors of violence and abuse, especially those whom we have named and remembered this night.
As we proclaim that another world is possible as we pray the prayer of Jesus Christ, who experienced you as:
Our Father, who art in heaven…"

By The Rev. Patricia Sandra Horton, Birmingham, Alabama, USA

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