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Litany Prayer of Lament

(Adapted from the Psalms, Kyrie Eleison, and The Prayer of St. Francis)

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Over the past two and half years our congregations have been struggling with questions, fears, and doubts concerning the evil in our world. With acts of senseless gun violence perpetuated against the most vulnerable in our society, conflict and war around the globe, the COVID pandemic still affecting families, and issues of oppression and racism plaguing our nation there is a sense of heaviness among those whom we serve. It’s crucial that we as church leaders make space in our worship services for our congregants to lament before God. Corporate lament is a powerful tool that gives people permission to grieve and name their fears, doubts, and deepest longings before the Lord. The scriptures, especially the Psalms, are full of expressions of lament both personal and communal.

The Office of Spiritual Life has created a worship resource for you to use in your church to make room for grief and to ask God to fill us by the power of the Holy Spirit to be agents of change in the world.

Jesus is still Lord of all, and we are his faithful servants sent to spread the good news in places of deep suffering.

Tesia Mallory

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Tesia Mallory
Dean of the Chapel
United Theological Seminary

LEADER: O God, we cry out to you from the depths.
Hear our prayers and our longings.
ALL: Lord, have mercy.

We are tired with grief, a sorrow sometimes too deep for words.
Christ, have mercy.

We see conflict and devastation all around us,
on a scale that we can’t comprehend.
Lord, have mercy.

The poor and needy cry for help.
Christ, have mercy.

The love of God and neighbor has grown cold.
Lord, have mercy.

Mothers and fathers weep for their children.
Christ, have mercy.

Power and division maim the Body of Christ.
Lord, have mercy.

Nations are rocked with war and violence.
Christ, have mercy.

Disease and destruction plague our world.
Lord, have mercy.

How long, O Lord? Hear us as we silently lift our prayers to you.

(several moments for silent prayer)

O God, we believe that you are our shelter and strength.
You never leave us in our time of need.
Grant us your peace.

Your love is compassionate and faithful, never-ending.
You are near to the brokenhearted.
Grant us your peace.

You comfort those who mourn
And work justice for those who are oppressed.
Grant us your peace.

We put our whole trust in you.
Full redemption is in your hands.
Make us instruments of your peace.

You teach us to walk humbly with you,
following faithfully where you lead.
Make us instruments of your peace.

Send your Holy Spirit to renew us
to proclaim the gospel with word and action.
Make us instruments of your peace.

O God, we cry out to you from the depths.
Have mercy on us, grant us the peace of Christ,
and transform us by your Spirit to follow in
Christ-like service to the world. Amen.

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