Recent reports of violence in the United States demonstrate afresh the need for God’s hope, help, and healing. We have recently learned about mass shootings resulting in murders and injuries during festive celebrations, at the workplace, and in neighborhoods. We have also seen video of law enforcement officers assaulting a citizen to death. These tragedies, which have disproportionately victimized people of color, illustrate the need for the saving power of Jesus in the lives of those who assault others.
Our hearts are further saddened by the physical, sexual, and psychological violence endured by so many people in so many places that are not reported locally, nationally, or internationally. So many suffer silently, with the complicity of non-engagement, and without the knowledge of most of us. Violence is not the only manifestation of sin, but it does demonstrate the extent of human fragility and depravity, which leads to injury and fatality because of illness or intentionality. Lord, save us from violence.
We pray for the companionship of the Holy Spirit with all who grieve and are wounded on a journey of healing and wholeness.
We insist on accountability for those whose violent actions and rhetoric enable and embolden cultures that devalue, damage, and destroy human life.
We offer ourselves as partners on a journey of justice—a fairness where none have too much nor too little provision, protection, or punishment.
We extend our resources for pastoral prayer, therapeutic support, and psychological support for those who seek God’s peace that transcends understanding.
“Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me.
He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me—God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.”
(Psalm 57:1–3, NIV)
David Emmanuel Goatley
President, Fuller Theological Seminary
Clifford L. Penner Presidential Chair
Professor of Theology and Ministry