CTukshqVEAAZdHXI was on my iPhone, causally scrolling through my Twitter feed, when I realized that there were a lot of things being said about Paris. I turned the news on, and saw the reports of what would be multiple attacks across the city, killing hundreds. I like many have been in a state of shock over the events. To the point that my journaling was just a list of words or phrases, no complete sentences, reflecting the impossibility of complete thoughts forming.

Today, I attempted to form that list of words and phrases into a prayer:

Lord, you call us to be people of peace and love
Yet, there are times when humanity
Turns against humanity
And no matter how hard we try,
It doesn’t make sense.

Times when bombs explode;
Times when shots are heard;
Times when the streets are eerily quiet.

And so, we gather to pray:

For the city of Paris,
The hundreds killed;
The thousands wounded;
The millions grieving.

For first responders around the globe,
Who put the lives of others before their own;
Who walk courageously into moments of high alert;
Who face terror with boldness on our behalf.

For those whose anger led them to these acts,
Those whose fear overwhelms their faith;
Those whose hatred blinds the unity among us;
Those whose hearts are filled with darkness.

For all the places where explosions have left us deaf,
For Beirut;
For Kenya;
For Baghdad.

Lord, you have called us to be people of faith, not people of fear.
Forgive us when we allow rhetoric to dictate our response.
Forgive us for turning to fear instead of turning to faith.
Forgive us for not hearing the cries of your people.

Lord, the question has been asked, “Is anything going to change?”
And, we are reminded that change begins in us.
Change our hearts, O Lord.
We are reminded that the Light dwells in us.
Change our hearts, O Lord.

So that we may bring hope to the hopeless; Light into the darkness; and be advocates for peace. Amen.

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