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Prayers for Dallas
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Brothers and Sisters,

 
This is a time to mourn.
 
The tragic loss of five lives in Dallas last night weights heavy on all our hearts. No amount of fear, hurt or anger can ever justify taking the lives of these police officers.
 
The pain we feel today at these senseless shootings does not lessen or in any way diminish the loss we feel at the killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
 
We mourn the loss of any and all of God’s children.
 
There is not a choice between standing with protestors or standing with police. Violence anywhere and everywhere breaks the heart of God just as injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere.
 
As Christians, we stand with all who are suffering, we seek to comfort all who are mourning and we seek justice for all who have been wronged.
 
We believe in a God who is not just with those who suffer but is fully present in their suffering. God is a God who has entered into this world and fully taken on all of our pain.
 
It is true that our prayers today won’t end the violence. Hatred and fear will not be stopped overnight. We pray not just because we know that we are in need of God’s help but we pray because we know we must be changed ourselves.
 
We must confess that we feel fear. We know that police officers will feel fear as they began their shift as will their loved ones feel fear until they return home.  We know that black mothers and fathers will feel fear for their children each time they walk out of the house or drive in a car. We know ordinary Americans might be tempted to fear one another during these tense times.
 
As we mourn and remember we will all be faced with the choice of allowing that fear to grow inside of us or turning towards the perfect love that casts out all fear.   
 
We pray today that in the midst of this all we can only hope that we will be united in our common grief and though our tears we might catch a sight of our common humanity.
 
 
In solidarity,
 
 

Reverend Elijah R. Zehyoue  
Director of Programs and Communications
 

Across the nation this Sunday, churches in the New Baptist Covenant family will share in the following litany.

 
Litany for a Mourning People
 
Leader: God of Grace and Mercy, God of Love and Peace, we tremble in your presence, we ache in our hearts, we squint in our eyes to see you, and we pray in our hearts that you hear us.

People: God of Grace and Mercy, in the presence of debilitating evil, we feel so small.

Leader: God of Love and Peace, under the rule of fear, we feel so hopeless

People: God of Grace and Mercy show me that my hand though weak, joined with other hands can move mountains.

Leader: God of Love and Peace show me that my voice, though timid, joined with other voices can make a mighty chorus

People: God of Grace and Mercy show me that my heart, though lonesome and heavy, joined with other hearts can change our world.

Leader: God of Love and Peace, we pray For Alton Sterling and His family

People: God of Grace and Mercy, we pray For Philando Castille and his family

Leader: God of Love and Peace, we pray for the families of the 5 Dallas police officers killed, the other 7 officers who were wounded, the two civil protestors who were shot.

People: God of grace and mercy, we pray for the peaceful protesters and the law enforcement officers protecting their right assembly

Leader: God of Love and Peace, we pray even for the perpetrators of forms of violence, may we turn from evil and seek you and the life more abundantly that you offer.

People: God of grace and mercy, we pray for movements for the dignity of life—black life, police life, brown life, vulnerable and weary life and ask that your love reigns supreme.

Leader: God of Grace and Mercy, God of Love and Peace in the presence of so much evil in this world we know you are asking who will bear my light? Who will bear my pain? Who will speak to my people who are broken? Who will hold my people in their hearts?

People: Here we are Lord.  If you lead us, we will go.  We will hold your people in our hearts. 

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