Prayers for strangers

A prayer for strangers today whose day began with the excitement of the Boston Marathon but whose ending is filled with tragedy:

Lord, we’re repeating this prayer too frequently
as we seek to console and to be consoled in the wake of
yet another tragedy.

Our eyes are fixed to images of carnage and panic.
Our attention is diverted to those who wander in confusion,
seeking loved ones – looking for anyone – to make sense of
the senseless.

Across the miles, I breathe a prayer…
“Lord, in your mercy, hear my prayer.”

I’ve said it too often…
for strangers:
for children and families in Connecticut, Colorado, Virginia…

and too many other places where life has been disrupted by tragic events.

Lord, in your mercy, hear my prayers…
for these people are not strangers to you.
They appear as unknown faces on my tv or computer screen
but You, O Lord know them by name.

So tonight, as these strangers huddle together,
with others who do know them as family or neighbor,

grant them comfort in their loss;

give them assurance of your presence as they feel the embrace of those closest to them;

whisper to their hearts that they are being lifted up in prayer by strangers.

Lord, we’ve got to stop meeting like this…
in your mercy, hear my prayer.

Amen.

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