Litany for Standing Rock

God, we lift up to you our sisters and brothers at Standing Rock.
Show your goodness to them.
We give thanks to you for them,
For their strong witness against injustice.
We give thanks to you for them,
For their willingness to endure suffering peacefully.

Bless them, Oh God,
And let peace prevail.
Bless them, Oh God,
And let justice be done.
Bless them, Oh God,
And uphold their cause.

We recognize that this nation has succeeded
On the backs of oppressed peoples.
We recognize that again and again,
We have idolized profit.
We recognize that our collective greed
Oppresses those in the margins.
We recognize that our affluence
Comes at the expense of the poor, and of creation.

Forgive us, Oh God,
And have mercy upon us.

Open the hearts of our nation
To change
To mercy
To sustainability
To justice for all
To a greater good.

Heal those who have been wounded in this struggle,
Both physically and emotionally;
And bring peace and to a land that has known strife,
Whose ground is stained with blood and sorrow.


Litany for a Terrorized City

*I originally wrote this litany as a response to the attack on Brussels on March 22, 2016. I later learned that many other places in the world were attacked by ISIS during the surrounding time period, attacks that never made headline news. This litany can be used to pray for folks in any location that has experienced terrorism. I wish it weren't true that we might have use for a general prayer for terrorized cities. Christ, have mercy.

God, we cry out to You on behalf of the people of [Brussels, Belgium].
     For the families and friends of those killed in the attacks, we cry.
     For those wounded, we cry.
     For the bystanders, those shocked and terrified, we cry.
     For the emergency workers, giving tirelessly of themselves, we cry.
     For those in government and law enforcement, we cry.
     For the residents of the city, stranded and immobilized, we cry.
     For a world beset by evil, we cry.

We commend the souls lost into Your care,
And ask for healing and comfort for those that remain.

These events bring us into a place of questioning:
     Of Your goodness
     Of Your sovereignty
     Of the nature of humanity
     Of the future of the world
     Of how we might move forward.

We commend those questions into Your care,
     Asking You for wisdom
     Asking You for hope
     Asking You for courage to continue on in good work
     Asking You for help in overcoming
     Asking You for comfort in trouble
     Asking You for a heart of love toward our enemies
     Asking You for justice.

We acknowledge that our lives are precious, vulnerable, and often short.
We acknowledge that safety is never guaranteed.
We acknowledge our inability to perfectly follow Jesus’ example
     of meekness, forgiveness, and peacemaking.
We acknowledge that when Jesus took upon himself the wrongdoing of the world,
he took terrorism also.

We look toward the completion of Jesus’ work.
We look toward the fullness of Your kingdom come,
And Your will done on earth as it is in heaven. 

We look toward the day when the whole world is aligned with the law of love.

Be near to the brokenhearted, close in Your compassion and lovingkindness, Generous in Your giving of understanding.