A Prayer for Us and for Our Nation
January 7th, 2021
Yesterday was a very sad, unsettling and upsetting day. I never thought I would see the day when a mob of rioters would take over the Capitol and try to stop our constitutionally prescribed processes from happening. I never thought I would see the day when rioters would pull down an American flag flying over the halls of Congress or that I would see Confederate battle flags being paraded through the halls of the Capitol. I never thought I would see images of our legislators wearing gas masks, huddled beneath furniture, and being hurriedly rushed out of their chambers to ensure their safety. I never thought I would see the day that terrorists would break windows and then climb into the “People’s House”. And yet, we witnessed all of that yesterday. This morning I find myself still sad, unsettled, upset and angry. As we try to make sense of where we are as a nation, and as we try to figure out where we go from here, I offer you this prayer:
Gracious God, you are the ruler of the universe and the hope for all the tomorrows that will be. We turn to you in sadness, anger, and fear. We watched in horror as the Capitol was taken over, lives were threatened, people injured and killed, and property destroyed. We watched as it became clear once again that we are a people who are divided, with our divisions having risen even beyond threats to violence. And so, this day, we cry to you the words and sounds of lament.
Forgive us, O God, when prejudice or hate or disrespect threatens the common good. Forgive us when our actions are anything less than loving toward others.
As shaken as we are by what we saw, we are thankful that our elected officials and their staffs working in DC are safe. And we are grateful for their willingness to continue the constitutionally prescribed process which was interrupted. Grateful for the ways our nation has been a shining light to the world, we pray that once again we may become a beacon of hope to hurting and oppressed people around the globe.
We pray this day for a peaceful and orderly transfer of power in the coming weeks. As President-Elect Biden and Vice-President-Elect Harris continue to prepare to take their oaths of office, we ask you to guide them. Give them wisdom. And on those days when they are struggling and when they are unsure what steps to take, may they be certain of your abiding love and care.
As we seek to understand more fully all that transpired yesterday, help us to know what we must do to heal our nation. Give us the courage to love our friends as well as our enemies and the wisdom to know how to seek the welfare of our nation. When necessary, enable us to speak truth to power, but to speak truth in love and in hope. As we journey through this day and toward all your tomorrows, keep before us a vision of your love, a palpable sense of your hope, and an abiding knowledge of your peace. As you have been our God through all the years that have gone by, we trust that you will be our God forever more. In the name of the Prince of Peace, we pray. Amen.