Prayer of Lament: Mass Shootings

Too often, when we turn on our phones, TVs, and computers, we are met with news of yet another mass shooting. These tragic outbreaks of violence remind us that we live in a lost and broken world. But as people of faith, we know that this broken world is also so loved by God. We pray that our churches—and all churches across the world—will continue to be seen as places of refuge, of love, and of hope, rather than places of fear. We seek God’s guidance as we try to make sense of these tragedies and respond as Christ would. We pray for the future of our nations and for our integrated life together.

As we mourn for those affected by these tragedies, we invite you to join us in praying these words adapted from the Christian Reformed Church’s Office of Social Justice:

Lord, in our shock and confusion, we come before you.

In our grief and despair in the midst of hate,

in our sense of helplessness in the face of violence,

we lean on you.


For the families of those who have been killed we pray.

For the shooters—help us to pray, Lord.

For the communities that have lost members—their anger, grief, fear—we pray.

For the churches striving to be your light in darkness beyond our comprehension, we pray.


In the face of hatred, may we claim love, Lord.

May we love those far off and those near.

May we love those who are strangers and those who are friends.

May we love those who we agree with and understand,

and even more so, Lord, those who we consider to be our enemies.


Kyrie Eleison. Lord, have mercy.

Heal our sin-sick souls.

Make these wounds whole, Lord.


Prayer used with permission; sign up for the weekly OSJ Prayers email.