At the heart of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6 are these words in a prayer that Jesus taught his disciples: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Yesterday, as explosions rocked the finish of the Boston Marathon and fear gripped the heart of our nation, we were all reminded that this prayer of Jesus has not yet fully been answered. The world in which we live is a broken place, marked by sin and sadness and tragedy. Events like this are not God’s will and often, the reality we experience looks nothing like the kingdom of God for which we hope. However, we also know and trust that God’s mission through Jesus Christ is to put the broken pieces of our world back together, to bring healing and hope and light to the darkest of places.
Today, our hearts are with the people of Boston. We pray for those who have been injured, the families of those who have been deeply affected by this tragedy, those who have lost loved ones, those who sit in hospitals awaiting news. We pray for the people who caused this tragedy. We pray for the people of Boston and we pray for the people of our nation that we might come together with the love of God in this difficult time. May we join together in the mission of God to restore the brokenness of this world to the wholeness God intends for us.
The following is a prayer written by my good friend Rev. Kaye Harvey:
A PRAYER FOR GOD’S PEOPLE, RESPONDING TO BOSTON
God of hope and God of peace,
We cry out to you once more, O God, in the midst of sadness and pain and tragedy. We come to you as people of faith who know you hear the cries of your people: those who are injured, the families of their loved ones, and the loved ones of those who lost their lives, the people of the city of Boston and the surrounding communities who are shocked and deeply saddened by this wound upon their land. We know that our tears are mingled with Yours as you mourn for them and for this world, for what your world has become.
Lord of us all, we cannot comprehend such evil, and yet we know it exists. We have seen the face of evil this day. We cannot understand how we, your people, can hurt one another, You who created us only to love one another. Teach us once more what it means to sacrificially love one another in the ways that Jesus shows us. May evil be over shadowed by the light of our Lord Christ.
May those who need you so desperately this hour know that you hear their prayers. Give them calm assurance through acts of kindness and mercy that you are with them. Help us to remember that for every act of evil, there are a million acts of mercy and grace, and that is where we find You.
Forgive our sins, we pray. Deliver us from evil, O God, and may we, your people, renew our commitment to the ways of love. Jesus has overcome the world, and even in the darkest of times, Love will ultimately win.
In Christ’s name and for his sake we pray.