For Tonight’s Service of Lament

by Gabriel BarlettaTonight we pray for the people of our city, our country, and our world because we have seen, participated in, allowed, and suffered so much violence. In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

Tonight we pray for the parents who have lost children because of police violence, state-sanctioned violence, faith-sanctioned violence, grief-induced violence. In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

Tonight we pray for the spouses and significant others to those who have died at murderous hands, that you would grant them vision to see again new life even while noticing how all their plans have shattered. In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

Tonight we pray for the children who are without mothers and fathers, asking that you would come close to them in special ways and offer them every needed grace for a life you never imagined for them. In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

Tonight we pray for the fallen that their names would be remembered as you recall them, that their stories would be among your best told ones, and that their deaths might inspire us to fix broken law enforcement programs, to face the fundamental wickedness of white supremacy, to turn from the error of all hatred seen and unseen. In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

Tonight we pray for those Dallas police officers who were murdered this week and for the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and other victims of excessive force and for every family involved that your grace would be as overwhelming as their grief, that your kindness would envelope each one like a protest, and that your tears would mingle with ours as we suffer. In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

Tonight we pray for the unarmed who have fallen from bullets by police in 2015 and by name:

Dontre Hamilton

Eric Garner

John Crawford

Michael Brown

Ezell Ford

Dante Parker

Tanisha Anderson

Akai Gurley

Tamir Rice

Rumain Brisbon

Jerame Reid

Tony Robinson

Phillip White

Eric Harris

Walter Scott

Freddie Gray

Matthew Ajibade

Leslie Sapp

Brian Pickett

Andre Murphy

Tiano Meton

Alvin Haynes

Jeremy Lett

Natasha McKenna

Terry Price

Calvon Reid

Thomas Allen

Darrell Gatewood

Charly Keunang

Naechylus Vinzant

Bernard Moore

Anthony Hill

Terrance Moxley

Askari Roberts

Brandon Jones

Denzel Brown

Keith Childress

Bettie Jones

Kevin Matthews

Leroy Browing

Roy Nelson

Miguel Espinal

Nathaniel Pickett

Tiara Thomas

Cornelius Brown

Chandra Weaver

Jamar Clark

Richard Perkins

Stephen Tooson

Michael Marshall

Alonzo Smith

Yvens Seide

Anthony Ashford

Lamontez Jones

Rayshaun Cole

Paterson Brown

Christopher Kimble

Junior Prosper

Keith McLeod

Wayne Wheeler

India Kager

Tyree Crawford

James Carney

Felix Kumi

Wendall Hall

Asshams Manley

Christian Taylor

Troy Robinson

Brian Day

Michael Sabbie

Billy Davis

Samuel Dubose

Darrius Stewart

Albert Davis

Sandra Bland

Salvado Ellswood

George Mann

Jonathan Sanders

Victo Larosa

Kevin Judson

Spencer McCain

Kevin Bajoie

Zamiel Crawford

Jermaine Benjamin

Kris Jackson

Alan Williams

Ross Anthony

Richard Davis

Markus Clark

Lorenzo Hayes

De’Angelo Stallworth

Dajuan Graham

Brandon Glenn

Reginald Moore

Nuwnah Laroche

Jason Champion

Bryan Overstreet

Terrance Kellom

David Felix

Lashonda Belk

Gregory Harris

Terry Chatman

William Chapman

Samuel Harrell

Norman Cooper

Brian Acton

Donald Ivy

Frank Sheppard

Darrell Brown

Dominick Wise

Jason Moland

Nicholas Thomas

Quintonio LeGrier

Bettie Jones

In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

Tonight we pray for the perpetrators of violence, be they police, children, racists, politicians, citizens, people we love or people we hate; will you do the impossible and the unthinkable and save them in every just way. In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

Tonight we pray for the people who are responding out of fear and pain alone, that they might arrest their own turmoil and refuse to allow it to cause more harm. In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

Tonight we pray for the churches and faith communities which have been too quiet, done too little, and barely accepted your truth; that you would open us to reality as you know it and that we would be absolutely changed. In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

Tonight we pray for a gospel experience with Jesus that will convert us to the truth of love that dies but that always, always, always defeats death. In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

Tonight we pray for a Pentecostal experience that we might be shaken and roused by the holiest of spirits who will give us right words. In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

Tonight we pray for hope because Black folk have lost it, protection because no legal system provides it, wisdom because all our best rules never seem to apply to us, and justice because it can only really come from you. In our pain we ask for your enduring mercy.

Oh, God, hear and answer us.

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