Prayer for Victims at the U.S. Capitol and Our Nation
Holy Spirit, mighty in your mercy, give tender consolation to the victims of terrorism at the US Capitol, and be with our leaders as they relive violence and trauma. Be with all who suffer nightmares: those who frantically reached for gas masks, removed their Congressional pins, listened to the screams of insurrectionists using battering rams to break through the doors that separated them from mobs. We pray for those watching footage of their rush to safety through the labyrinth of hallways to avoid the violent mobs, grateful for those who protected them. Console the families who received afternoon phones calls saying, “I love you.” We especially pray for those who died while protecting Members of Congress, and those who took their lives afterward. Lord, in your mercy, we beseech you to touch them with healing grace.
January 6th wasn’t a day isolated from others. The fevered pitch of lies ignored, the foreshadowing violence unheeded. Not in our country, we thought. Our innocence violated, assumed of foreigners who wish to undermine democracy, not our neighbors. We also pray for people of color and religious minorities, forced to relive their trauma, the same violent acts of terror throughout history and today by white supremacists and neo-Nazis and “Christian” nationalists demanding their privilege, refusing the rest of us the simple freedom to live without fear of violence and terror. Open the eyes and ears of all in denial who say, “this is not who we are.” Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
We also pray for those who stormed the capitol, those who erected gallows and hung nooses, who chanted death to the vice-president, who smashed doors and windows, and assaulted law enforcement with pipes and flag poles, attempting to overthrow the government. All for lies and power at all costs. Touch their hearts with the insight of their actions, with the truth that sets us free, that we may turn together toward peace and goodness, respect for all life, and appreciation for our wonderfully diverse country, a banner of hope for many around the world. Convict the conscience and awaken the minds of the Senators who refuse to acknowledge their complicity, who refuse the healing for the rest of us that comes from accepting consequences. We beseech your mercy, O God, to touch their hearts with healing grace, too. The healing that comes only through accountability, especially for the instigator in chief.
O God, Holy Spirit, consoler, tender but mighty in your mercy, let justice flow like mighty streams and righteousness like ever-flowing waters, and hear our prayers. Amen
Rev. Dr. David Bahr, Pastor
Park Hill Congregational UCC, Denver, Colorado
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