PCUSA Call to Prayer
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
-Psalm 46:1-3 (NRSV)
Gracious Lord, you are our refuge and strength, our very present help in trouble. With sadness and questions in our hearts, your Spirit prompts us in this hour to pray for our sisters and brothers in the wake of the tragedy in Boston. Comfort with your generous grace in a way only you can, Lord, those who lost their loved ones in the bomb explosions today, those who are trying to connect with their loved ones, and those who are injured. Strengthen first responders, medical personnel, and other authorities as they work through the day and night to come to the aid of many. Pierce the heart and soul of the perpetrator(s) of this act of violence. Forgive that individual(s) for they know not what they do.
Incline your ear to us, loving Lord, for we seek you, we plead to you to come to our aid, to hear our pleas and petitions for peace, for we long and groan for the day when the wolf will lay down with the lamb, where there will be no more bombs, no more loss, no more blood. Unite us as a human community, where neighbor loves neighbor, where our relating to each other is not through fear or violence, but through our common life, for in you and from you we live, and move and have our being.
In your strong love, hold us close to your heart. Anchor us in your love and secure us in your peace which surpasses all our understanding but which gives us the very confidence that in a Good Friday world, we are an Easter people, living in and with the power, possibilities and promise of your risen son, Jesus Christ. In his Name and for his sake, we pray. Amen.
For information on how to join with other Presbyterians in responding to the acts of violence at the Boston Marathon or for worship resources (PDF) for use in times of disaster, visit the website of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, which was invited to send—and is preparing to deploy—an experienced team of first responders.
Neal D. Presa, Moderator of the 220th General Assembly (2012)
Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Linda Bryant Valentine, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency
Massachusetts Council of Churches statement on the Boston Marathon Bombing
"Behold, I will bring health and healing to the city; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth." ~ Jeremiah 33:6
Our hearts are heavy in Massachusetts. On a great day of civic pride and joy, our city of Boston was scarred by violence. We grieve for those who have died. Bodies made to run and cheer were wounded. Our eyes are burned with images of terror in the very streets where we walk. Attend to us, Great Physician. We do not yet now why this has happened. Preserve us from quick judgements, O Lord. Give us wisdom in the days ahead. Reveal to us peace and truth. We sing the African-American spiritual "guide my feet, while I run this race, for I don't want to run this race in vain." In this time of uncertainty and fear, we cling to the sure promises of our God that we do not go on in vain.
Even as we grieve, we will remain steadfast in charity, defiant in hope, and constant in prayer. We are grateful for the prayers and support from across the country and the globe. Please continue to pray for the victims. Pray for our first responders, our elected officials, and the media who work with such trauma and return home to their own families. Pray for those without permanent homes who live in our public parks, displaced by this violence in our city. Pray for the marathoners, tourists and visitors far from home.
The Massachusetts Council of Churches joins our prayers with citizens throughout the Commonwealth. In the words of the prophet Jeremiah, may our God indeed bring health and healing to the city.
The Rev. Laura E. Everett
Massachusetts Council of Churches