“Our hearts go out to all, and we pray the consolation of Christ can be brought to everyone during this time of unspeakable violence and tragedy.” — LCMS President Matthew C. Harrison, in reaction to the awful school shooting today in Newtown, Conn.

 

Artwork courtesy Concordia Publishing House, Lutheran Service Book

Pray: Almighty God and everlasting Father, the consolation of the sorrowful and the strength of the weak, may the prayers of those who cry to You in tribulation and distress come before You, so they may recognize and receive your gracious help, comfort and peace. Be a source of strength and hope for the children and families affected by the shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn. Grant them Your abiding presence and bless those whose vocation it is to bear mercy in body and soul in the midst of this evil. Bring hope and healing that all affected may find relief and restoration; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

Read:

Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry come to you!
Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress!
Incline your ear to me;
answer me speedily in the day when I call!

For my days pass away like smoke,
and my bones burn like a furnace.

My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
you are remembered throughout all generations (Ps. 102:1-3, 11-12).

 

Pray: Most merciful Father, with compassion You hear the cries of your people in great distress. Be with all who know endure affliction and calamity, bless the work of those who bring rescue and relief, and enable us to aid and comfort those who are suffering, that they may find renewed hope and purpose, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

Other Helpful Readings

Job 30:16-24

Revelation 7:13-17

Psalm 130

Romans 8:31-39

Hebrews 12:4-13

Luke 13:1-9

Matthew 24:32-35

 

Read:

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon (Is. 55:6-7).

 

Pray: Alleluia. Do not forsake me, O Lord. O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation. Alleluia.

 

Pray: Friend of the little children, lighten the darkness of our hearts. Remember in mercy all who have been devastated by the shooting this week in Connecticut. To Your care we commend the injured and the mourning, the traumatized and the terrified. Embrace and comfort each hurting family, O You who have known in Your own flesh what violence and hatred can do, and yet triumphed in love. Give them Your peace and a share in Your hope. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.

 

Hymn Suggestions from Lutheran Service Book

When Aimless Violence Takes Those We Love (764)

In the Very Midst of Life (755)

Children of the Heavenly Father (725)