With those affected by legislated horror because of their gender identity or sexual orientation;
With those who lament inability to serve a church as a pastor because of whom they love;
With people of color who face micro-and-macro aggressions day in and day out;
With those who lament their decision to cross into this country because of our unjust migrant-detention policies;
With those who face threats and acts of violence because of gender, class, and race;
With the parents and children of those killed because of senseless violence.
Prayers of Lament
Listening God, with each new day comes fresh news of terror. We lament each new way we find to be inhumane to each other. We lament the numbness many of us feel as we are increasingly desensitized to horror. We sorrow as those harmed by the sin of exclusion and hatred but also as those who are complicit in its execution. We lament the structural sin that can sometimes leave us feeling helpless. But Lord, we aren’t helpless. We tear our clothing; we cry aloud, our tears flow, and our hearts break. Hear the deep pain in our hearts. Help us to hear the deep pain in others. But we will ever trust in you, God, our helper and our defender. We will raise our voices, shout out, and not hold back. You call us to justice. Give us courage to pursue it until the day when all the tears will be wiped from our eyes and we look forward in hope. In the name of the One who has heard our cries and delivers us even from ourselves. Amen.
God, we find ourselves in a time of great sorrow. Give us the gift of tears that moves us beyond sadness into compassion. Inspire and empower us not only to cry about others but also to weep with them. Teach us to lament, so that we do more than regret our circumstances; we resolve to cooperate with you to change them. Make us instruments of your peace. Amen.
Gracious and merciful God, you summon us when we are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and then you promise rest. But there are days when we are waiting for healing and redemption, when the Spirit groans alongside us, and we don’t know how to pray. We can’t find the words, and yet we hold on to your promise of rest. We’ve been wounded by the words and actions of others, and our voices fall silent. And yet by your mercy and grace, we find that praise bursts from our throats. Through your sustaining grace, shape us into safe communities who love each one that seeks refuge and rest. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Merciful God, do not turn away from me, for I am in pain. Hateful and deadly words and actions are being hurled against your LGBTQ children, while too many people stand silently by. I hold fast to your promise that you are never far from those who are suffering. Draw near -- and transform me! I mourn the ways I have strayed from love, justice, and peace, and I repent of my sin. I trust that you hear the cries of the oppressed and the downtrodden. And so, I lift up my eyes, and I give you praise. In the name of Jesus, who is no stranger to mourning. Amen.