The president of the United States called on the American people to take a moment to honor those killed and wounded in the recent assassination attempt on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, asking us to observe a moment of silence yesterday, at 11:00 am. My wife, Faith, and I heeded this call by inviting those we knew in DC to join us for a brief time of prayer, to ask that God's peace rest on this disturbed nation.
We pray for the families of those who have been wounded or killed by this brutal act. May God send the consoling presence of the Holy Spirit to shelter and comfort them in this time of terrible evil. We pray for those who have died - that they may find peace in the arms of their Creator. We pray for those who are wounded. We pray for the doctors, nurses and surgeons who are entrusted with caring for them in this time of urgent need. We lift our prayers in particular for Gabrielle Gifford, who has suffered a severe brain injury. We pray for God's healing power to reach out and grant miraculous and full recovery to her, and to all of the survivors.
We pray that this horrific attack might serve as a wake-up call for us as a nation. May Christ shine his light on the violence that lurks within our own hearts, helping us to recognize and reject the culture of fear, violence and hatred that has become so entrenched in our country in recent years. Grant us the spirit of repentance that came to the people of Nineveh, which saved their nation from sure destruction.
Lord, we pray for our political leaders. We pray for the president, for the leaders in the United States Senate, for the Speaker of the House and the justices of the Supreme Court. Let them give a worthy example of peacemaking, compassion and humility. Father, please guide them in setting a good example for this fearful, angry nation.
God, we ask that you let these terrible murders serve your purposes in holding a mirror up to the murderous spirit that we have been harboring as a people. Please send the Holy Spirit to us, and grant us the grace to rebuke this evil within our hearts and in our society.
We ask all this in the precious name of your son, Jesus. Amen.