Dear God,
How can this happen? Again.
How can we be no closer to your reign of peace?
When will we ever learn?
Are these the questions you, too, are asking?
We pray for those who have died, for them to know your loving embrace, come far too soon.
We pray for the families and friends whose grief is just beginning; walk with them through the valley of the shadow of death.
We pray for those who were witnesses to this horror, for students, teachers & staff, first responders; gently heal the wounds of their spirit and mind.
We pray for the shooter, consumed by a hate we can’t begin to understand, for your forgiveness that far exceeds any we can find in our hearts.
We pray for ourselves, for wisdom as we respond to children and parents who have lost a sense of safety.
Comfort us in our sadness,
stand strong beside us in our fear,
use our anger to fuel change,
and do not let us give up hope for the day when we have brought about such a nation as allows all your people to live in peace and safety.

— Prayer by the Rev. Betsy Hooper, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church – Altadena, Calif.