Thou who has been our help in ages past, thou who dispenses your comfort to all those who mourn. We seek your grace to strengthen us as we commemorate the lives of loved ones who have been lost on this day of anguish for our country and our world.
Wipe away the blinding tears that plummet down our cheeks like gushing streams of an overflowing riverbank. Our heavy hearts still search for the solace of your guidance through the maze of pain and the myriad of complex issues such tragedy releases.
Though hurt, we are compelled to commemorate those who are fallen on this day. Remember those who may not have lost a life but instead they lost a limb, those who gave their health for our wholeness, those who lost their emotional stability to help us regain our national security.
From first responders to heroic citizens we ask for your grace for these hurting heroes who often suffer in total silence. Fill the arms of mothers left empty and heal the hearts of fathers whose ears strain to remember the sound of fading laughter and frolic of children now gone. Wrap your arms around those who lost wives and husbands, parents, friends and confidantes on this day of terroristic espionage. Let that day which exhibited the worst in man be the catalyst of also revealing the best in our human hearts to love each other.
In spite of such pain we honor you as the God and guide who has enabled us to endure what we thought was impossible. Thank you for your sovereign grace that guides us beyond one moment of terror to a collective and individual destiny beyond that moment. Thank you for the occasional smile, the splendor of sunsets and the brilliance of sunrise. Since then you have granted us new friends and a renewed sense of purpose. Like stars in our night you have given us light in the midst of dark places for which we are so grateful.
Watch over us with your omniscient eye grating us your continued protection. Our enemies remain unrelenting. In the true spirit of our faith, we also pray for our enemies. Let the message of your love and light extend not only to those who mourn but to those who hate, that they might realize that hate will not replace the better choice of debate nor will destruction reconstruct the common chord of our shared brotherhood as human beings. Have mercy on the pain and misguidance that would make them seek the horrific option of destruction. Guide them to the light of your love.
Teach us collectively, the power of that love, the simple riches of your peace. Show us that the indomitable spirit of self-preservation need not lead us to the selfish indulgence of blind devastation and the malicious disregard for each other.
You are the God of all people, the father of every soul. Lord, teach your children to love each other as much as they profess to love you.
In Jesus Christ's name we pray.