A prayer

God, we find it hard to watch our news today. We’re saddened. Confused. Angry. We don’t know how to respond. This is horrible.

Why does this happen? Why does this happen here? Why does this happen anywhere? We don’t really know what you’re doing with this. We trust you but we’re struggling. This is horrible.

But we’re going to pray. Help us to pray.

God, we know you are a God whose heart beats for the oppressed and the downtrodden and the victim. In this situation, right now, would you please bring comfort to the victims of this attack? Those who are injured or those who have tragically lost their sons, daughters, mums, dads, brothers, sisters, friends, colleagues. What they are going through is almost unthinkable. Please God, would you comfort them?

God, we are tempted to some bad responses here. To share quick, glib, simplistic “solutions” that don’t recognise the complexity of the issues. To turn away because we’re hardened to suffering. To scroll endlessly out of a strange fascination with the dramatic, forgetting these are real lives and real people not actors to be entertained by. To cold, stereotyping responses that tar whole communities with the brush of one person. If people did that to us, how unfair we’d say it was…

Please help us to be careful and wise and kind and nuanced and thoughtful responders. We’re tempted not to be. We’re going to struggle with these temptations. Please help us in this.

God, you tell us that whatever our political persuasions, we’re to pray for those who lead us. So as policemen, politicians, our Prime Minister and others are absolutely overwhelmingly busy and under immense pressure right now, can you please help them? Guide them? We aren’t in those positions but we can pray for them. So we’re doing that. Please, give them what they need.

And God as we care and we watch and we read and we struggle and we weep and we carry on with our days today, please would you help us to not let this distract us from what you’ve called us to – to be people who love, and listen and stoop and serve where we are. Thank you that though none of us can change the whole world or even our whole city today, thank you we can change our street, our office, our house. We can bring something of you to our commute, our boss, our classmates, our kids. The people who are different to us who we rub shoulders with today. Help us to not let the big and the huge and the overwhelmingly large distract us from the small, the unseen, the near, the now.

Can you give us the courage to do that today and tomorrow and the day after that? Please?

Thank you that you listen. Thank you that you know. Thank you that you invite our questions. Thank you that you forgive us. Thank you that you help us. Please do all of that God.