Our hearts are broken by the tragic massacre of 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Sunday, June 12, 2016. This is another illustration of the unleashed power of evil in our world. However, we are people who believe that God has overcome the powers of evil in this world through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When tragedies like this occur, we are people to turn to God in prayer.
Our Loving and Eternal God:
We come to you with heavy hearts because of the senseless killing of persons created in your image last Sunday in Orlando. We surrender into your loving hands all those who lost their lives and pray that their families and friends might be surrounded by your love as they walk through this valley of the shadow of death. May they fear no evil because you walk with them.
O God, we pray that we might not be “overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.” May this tragedy inspire us to recommit ourselves to follow Jesus who said “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”
O Lord, in moments like these we realize the inadequacy of our own wisdom. Therefore we fall on our knees before you and surrender ourselves, our nation and our world into your hands. We pray the prayer of St. Francis:
“O God, make us instruments of your peace that where there is hatred let us sow love, where there is injury, pardon, where there is doubt, faith, where there is despair, hope, where there is darkness, light and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
O God, hear our prayer in the name of one who taught us to pray:
“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Grace and peace,
Kent Millard, Interim President
United Theological Seminary