Heavenly Father, we grieve with those who have lost loved ones, and have been severely disabled by the tragic events of this past week. All of a sudden, politics and foreign conflict, the stock market and taxes are displaced by dangers closer to home. Our first thought is of people we know who might be affected. We call them to make sure they and their loved ones are safe. We pray for those who are not, who have died, who have been injured, who have been bereaved, whose lives have been changed forever by what has happened. Lord, I remember driving by West, Texas many times on my way to Dallas-Fort Worth. I remember shopping on Boylston Street, worshipping in Trinity Church, Copley Square, and staying at the Copley Square Hotel in Boston. The locations of these tragedies come alive for me in my imagination. I could have been there too. In solidarity with the victims, we pray for their healing, for their restoration, for their future hope and comfort. May they know the healing power of your love and presence.
Lord Jesus, you once spoke about those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them. You said that they were not more guilty or deserving of such a sudden death than all the others living in Jerusalem (Luke 13:4). You seemed to say that such events expose our mortality. The sudden and unexpected deaths and injuries of those involved in such tragedies touch us deeply because we identify with the victims and their loved ones. In the shock of their loss we see our own lives cut short prematurely. We contemplate our own future and are challenged to think about the significance of our own lives, of whether we are prepared to die and whether we are ready to face you. May these horrific tragedies cause us to turn to you, to take seriously your purpose for us, so that we may abandon trivialities and focus on seeking your righteous and holy will, and trust in your provision for our salvation.
“Lord Jesus Christ, who wept at the grave of Lazarus: we commend to your tender care and compassion those whose loss is greatest at this time, because their lives were closest and their love was strongest. In the midst of their deep sorrow give them the comfort of your powerful, resurrection presence, and the courage and faith which they need to face life again in the days to come. And may your peace be with them, Lord, both now and always. Amen.”