Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for the lives lost in Uvalde, Texas, that join the climbing number of those lost to gun violence in America.
Comfort the mourning, the grieving, the broken-hearted.
Compel our prayers to turn into actions.
May the triggers of our streets be beaten into plowshares.
May the triggers of our hearts be met with the open arms of our neighbors.
May we trust in the transformative power of your refining fire.
Forge us to be instruments of your peace.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
May our posture be of a readiness to steady a plowshare.
May we take hold of your olive branch that plots for peace.
May the plowshare break the earth of senseless violence.
May the furrows bring us a harvest of solace, a never-ending rest from violence.
May we sit under the vine and fig, on earth as it is in heaven.
May it be so. Amen.
-Adapted from a prayer by Michael Martin, director of RAWtools, Inc.
Action items for churches to witness to God’s peace in response to gun violence
- Create space for grieving. Hold a prayer vigil or join together in corporate prayer. Pause for a churchwide moment of silence on Sunday.
- Use “A Loaded Conversation: An Invitation to Talk About Guns,” the dialogue resource from Mennonite Central Committee U.S. and RAWtools.
- Use “Fear Not: Creating a plan to respond to active violence,” a Sunday school curriculum from Mennonite Central Committee U.S. and RAWtools.
- Become a part of the RAWtools Disarming network to help facilitate gun donations in your community.
- Donate your gun to be turned into a garden tool.
- Become aware of the legislation at your local, state and federal level and use your collective voice for change.
- Be aware of suicide prevention organizations in your area.
- Use Restorative Justice practices for conflict mediation.