The following Prayer has been written for the service at Crown Terrace Baptist Church on Sunday January 11. The Kyrie Eleison is the sung Taize version.
Living God, Giver of life to all through Christ,
Creator God, Maker of all things through Christ,
Peace-making God, Reconciler of all things through Christ
Father of Mercies, from whom blessing comes to all through Christ:
We are shocked by the violence of those who claim to act in the name of their God; we share the sadness and fear of the people of France; we have witnessed the power of hate and vengeance to destroy and devastate lives; we too are sad, afraid, or angry.
We pray for all who gather today in Paris to protest against this brutality and to stand in solidarity with a nation feeling shock, fear, anger and defiance. We pray for the comfort of victims and the wounded, for strength to the emergency services who had to deal with the carnage and suffering; for the safety of the special forces whose role of protecting others places them in grave danger. Today we hold in our hearts and in our thoughts, all whose lives are forever changed by these events.
Living God, giver of life to all, restore the hope of life to those affected by terrorism
Creator God, maker of all things, recreate in the places of despair, new hopes.
Eternal God, we live in the creative opportunities for good and flourishing in our times, but also in the broken order and threatened chaos of a world divided and jagged edged.
We confess the potential for fundamentalist religion to go toxic, for hatred for the other to distil into the nitro-glycerine of hatred, and then to explode into bloody violence, shattering communities into fragments of death, suffering and fear.
We pray that out of this great evil, there will come wisdom and understanding between peoples and faiths. In these early days when it’s easy to blame and hate and retaliate, give voice to those who seek conciliation; help people to grow in understanding, to find a shared commitment to the common good of Christians, Jews, Muslims, those who claim no faith.
With chastened hearts we pray this morning, as a community of Christ’s people, as those entrusted with Christ’s ministry of reconciliation, as patient persistent peace-making children of God, fellow human beings sharing the tears and bewilderment of the people of France.
Peace-making God, reconciler of all things through the blood of the Cross of Christ, bring out of this lethal hatred and hideous hurt, the possibilities of new life and the healing of faiths.
Father of Mercies, from whom all blessings come, and whose faithfulness never turns from this sinful world, we bring our broken words and bewildered thoughts, and without even knowing what blessing could possibly look like in this tragic mess, we ask the only blessing that makes sense,