A Prayer for Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newton, Connecticut

Sovereign Lord who works all things according to the counsel of your will, we pray to you for the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. They are in desperate need of your grace in this hour.

As you well know, Lord, the curse has broken through the facade of our lives. Death has come where it should not be – to children. Lord give us faith to believe in your goodness and in your sovereignty even in a time such as this. Shield us from anger and bitterness toward you. Grant us wisdom to understand the root of death, which is sin, and give us hearts of repentance.

An entire community is now shrowded in sorrow and its tendrils stretch across our nation. Father, our minds cannot fathom a way to comfort these who have experienced this grief, so we look to you to be their comfort. Give us wisdom on how to engage the world at a time like this. I pray especially for believers in Newton; that they would be moved by your Spirit to reach out to the families that have been victimized by this – both those who have survived and those who have lost. I pray that they would seek your face and find strength and wisdom to engage in this time. Give them words to say so that they can minister grace and mercy to these families that will not only comfort them, but will also somehow magnify your glory even in this dark time. I pray that the hope and joy found in the Gospel of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ would shine through the darkness of this hour and that you would cultivate hearts of faith in your people at this time.

I pray for all of us who sit on the outside looking in. I pray also that we would engage our neighbors. I pray that debates over guns and mental health would not dominate the discussion. As much as is needed, let us be a voice of reason in those discussions, but give us the words and the wisdom to make sure that no conversation passes us without us taking hold of the opportunity to discuss the deeper Spiritual realities behind what has happened. Oh let the church be the beacon of compassion and hope in this crises. Let the church shine the light of the Gospel and truth. Use us to draw people unto yourself.

I pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, the suffering servant who “made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death of the cross” – for us!

As President Obama hinted at, may the Lord heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.