Click here to visit the web site of the Christian Reformed Church in North America
A Prayer offered in worship at Olentangy Church on September 16, 2001

God of all grace and goodness,
as we humbly draw near to offer our prayer,
do hear us through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We are stunned by the tragic events of recent days.
We have watched planes crash, buildings collapse, and thousands of people die.
We cannot begin to fathom the depth of personal and national tragedy.
We have also seen Islamic centers with broken windows and bloodied doorsteps.
We grieve over bigotry and hatred in our midst.

We pray for the leaders of our nation—
for our president and congressional leaders.
Grant them prudence, patience, and a sense of proportion.
Guide them in formulating a fitting response to acts of terror.

We pray for the rescuers and other volunteers.
We thank you for their courage, commitment, and compassion.
Sustain them in their difficult and discouraging tasks.

We pray for the dead.
Though their bodies have been ruined,
Lord, have mercy on their souls.
And give comfort to those they have left behind.

We pray for the injured.
Thank you for delivering them
Heal their wounds of body, mind, and spirit.

We pray for those who mourn,
May your presence be to them a soothing balm,
as you sustain their faltering spirits.

We pray for children
and for all who are unsettled and frightened by these awful events.
Grant us a calm assurance that,
even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
we need fear no evil, for you are with us.

We pray for the Islamic community in our nation and even in our own city.
Protect the innocent from unjust accusation and from violence.
Stop in their tracks the bigots who would cause harm.

And we pray, too, for those who committed these terrible acts and died in the process.
Have mercy upon them as you have mercy upon us—sinners all.

We give you thanks for expressions of solidarity and sympathy
from countless people in many nations.
We are in awe that others recognize and honor what is good about our nation.
We, too, honor the good in America—
with gratitude to you, the source of all good.

At the same time we ask you to grant us courage to look
not just at the enemies who have done us this harm,
but also at ourselves,
to see what may be in us—
whether in our character, our attitude, or our actions—
to have invited such hatred.

As a nation we confidently assert that
no terrorist will change our way of life.
Perhaps, however, you are urging us to change,
to hold fast to what is good and to forsake what is bad,
perhaps, in particular, to back away from our reliance on economic and military might
and to lean upon you, the God of justice and mercy and peace.

Therefore we pray:
Give us as a people eyes to see
where you are working in these horrible events and their aftermath.
Give us as a nation ears to hear what you are saying.
Give us one and all humility
to celebrate the good and to acknowledge the evil in America,
to kneel in gratitude for the good, but also in penitence for the evil,
to seek your forgiveness,
and to amend our ways.

And from the dust and ashes, raise up a renewed nation,
committed not to proud empire,
but to the sober justice and peace and righteousness
of your holy kingdom.