I offered this prayer at our Vigil to Pray for Peace in Emporia, KS on July 10, 2016.
God of grace and mercy,
We come tonight with our hands full, our fingers tightly gripping our fear, our anger, our pain, our suspicion, our frustration and feelings of powerlessness in the face of what seems an impossible problem.
We know that our fear leads to isolation, our anger builds walls and our frustration can lead to apathy. By your mercy, forgive us for allowing our bitterness to bring division, and our pain to excuse contributing to the pain of others.
Tonight we look to you for the healing of our hearts and hearts across our land. Teach us to let go of all we are clutching, lest we use our closed fists to add to the violence.
Give us strength to pry open our fingers so that we may stretch out our palms to you and receive your healing grace.
May your healing produce a peace that is not only an absence of violence or conflict, but full of forgiveness, restoration, and joy.
Instill in us a love that reaches across racial boundaries, economic boundaries, religious boundaries, and every dividing wall of hostility. Grant us wisdom as we work toward reconciliation wherever we are, whatever our context.
Turn our hearts toward you when we grow weary. Unite us in purpose so that we know we are not alone. Light a path before us so that our steps may be clear as we journey together toward peace.
I offer this prayer in the name of Jesus, who laid down his life for the healing of the world.