Prayer for a Movement of the Spirit to Engage Presbyterian Congregations in Nation-Wide Action to Prevent Gun Violence

This prayer is part of an overture that was approved by the 223rd General Assembly in 2016. It is intended to be used in congregations across the denomination.

Gracious God, whose mercy never ends, whose Spirit brings the Kairos moment for change:

We confess our past willingness to abide the deaths of more than 1,600,000 souls lost to gun violence since 1968—the children, the parents, the distraught, as well as millions more injured, ruined, orphaned, widowed. Help us to comprehend this carnage and not become numb.

We commend and give thanks for the long witness of the General Assembly and all Presbyterians who are already engaged in preventing gun violence. We call upon you, Lord; we have nowhere else to turn. Galvanize all of us, every congregation in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Wake us up in our pews and our lives; do not let Christ find us asleep on this watch. Rather, Lord, grant to our church members, both those of us who own guns and those of us who do not, a unity of purpose to change the national debate on gun violence. Show us the way to study, prayer, and action at the local community level.

At all the places where you are proclaimed, give us courage to stand against principalities and powers. Grant us the joy of using the gifts that you provide—energy, intelligence, imagination, and love—to help our communities and our nation heal from this sorrow and tragedy. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.