Prayer after Terrorist Attack

img_8037Yesterday (6th June) we came together again in the city centre for a minute’s silence following the London Bridge attack on Saturday night.  We gathered to do three things: to remember those who died, those who are grieving and everyone affected by the incident.  To be thankful for the police, security services who risked their lives to protect and medical staff who devoted themselves to save the injured.  We also gathered to resolve to live in peace and to nurture and strengthen the bonds that hold us together: to stand together.

These atrocities are deeply unnerving and can breed fear.  That so many are responding with acts of love, compassion, generosity, love, hope and grace is encouraging.  As the German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in his Letters and Papers from Prison, “evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease”. It is not a place that we are content to rest and will inevitably be overcome.

At the end of the silence I was asked to lead a prayer and below is the prayer I used.

God of love, compassion and justice,

refresh our hope and trust in you.

When evil strikes

strengthen our resolve to live in peace,

to hold and embrace the grieving,

to build and nurture the bonds that unite,

for all are children of your promise

and equally loved in your sight.  Amen.

© Ian Black 2017


About Revd Canon Ian Black

Ian is Vicar of Peterborough, Canon Residentiary of Peterborough Cathedral and Rural Dean of Peterborough. He previously served for 10 years in Leeds, as Vicar of Whitkirk and as a member of the Chapter of Ripon Cathedral. He has also worked in Kent in Maidstone and as priest-in-charge of a group of parishes 10 miles north west of Canterbury. He was a Minor Canon of Canterbury Cathedral, a prison chaplain and Assistant Director of Post-Ordination Training for the Diocese of Canterbury. Prior to ordination Ian had a career in tax, both with the Inland Revenue as a PAYE Auditor and a firm of Chartered Accountants as a Tax Accountant. Ian is married with two sons. He is the author of three books of prayers: Prayers for all occasions (SPCK 2011), Intercessions for Years A, B & C (SPCK 2009) and Intercessions for the Calendar of Saints and Holy Days (SPCK 2005). His latest book is 'Follow me: living the sayings of Jesus (Sacristy Press 2017). He has been writing online since the mid 1990s.
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