Friday, September 11, 2009

Prayer for September 11

We all have our memories of September 11, 2001. Shortly after the attacks, our company's president asked us in the music and liturgy division to create a prayer service for all our employees. Here's what we did at noon on September 11, 2001. Hope you find it helpful. Gotta sing. Gotta pray. 

Psalm 55  (ICEL translation)

 

Listen, God, to my plea, do not ignore my cry.

Listen and answer, I shake with grief

at the furor of my enemies.

They threaten and attack me; they shout out curses,

venting their anger against me.

 

My heart is pounding, I can feel the touch of death.

Terror holds me in its grip, trembling seizes me.

"If I had wings like a dove, I would fly far and rest,

fly far away to the wilds to escape the raging storm."

 

Confuse their speech, Lord!  I see violence and strife

stalk their city walls both day and night.

 

Evil and destruction live in their midst;

oppression and deceit never leave the public square.

 

If my enemy insults me, I can bear it;

if a foe rises against me, I can hide myself.

 

But it was you, my own friend, the one I knew so well.

With you I could always talk, even as we walked to the temple,

my companion amid the crowd.

 

God hears my cry, brings me to safety

when the battle is raging and my foes are many.

 

Give your burden to the Lord, who will be your support.

If you are faithful, God will not let you fall.

 

Let us pray.

 

O God of mercy and forgiveness,

We stand before you in pain, in fear, and in grief.

We know you desire good for your people,

which is why we are stunned when we face terror of today's magnitude.

We cry out to you with the word that we share with one another:

"Why?"

In our fear and doubt, we still turn to you,

O God, and ask your presence.

Welcome those who were killed today

into your loving embrace.

Give them eternal peace.

Comfort the families of those who lost loved ones.

Give them strength.

Be with those who have suffered pain.

Heal them.

Guide those who care for the injured.

Be their strength.

Lead our country through this grief.

Comfort us.

Bring justice to those responsible for this terror.

And Almighty God,

we pray that you do not abandon your people

in their time of need.

 Amen.