Blessed are you, O God our Father. You have created this world by your wisdom and might. You are the sovereign God, the only God, the God above all so-called gods. Everything in this world exists for your purpose and glory.

Blessed are you, O Son of God. You are very God and very Man. You existed from eternity in the heavens and yet you come into this world, to be bound by time, space, and human nature. In your death, resurrection, and exaltation, you have been anointed as King of kings and Lord of lords. You sit at the Father’s right hand interceding for your people, and it is through you that we call upon our Father.

Blessed are you, O Spirit of God. You know the mind of God and have revealed it. You are the one who gave life to this creation, the one who sustains and renews it to this very day. You are the down payment on our eternal hope, the Spirit who dwells in us.

We cry out to you, O God, because we are hurting. We are tired. We are afraid. We are outraged. We are confused. We are in the throes of despair. We wonder each day about the next tragedy, the next violent crime, and we wonder if or how we or our families will be affected. We try not to, but we look at others with suspicion and distrust. We do not know who the enemy is, and so rather than reach out, we recoil and retreat. 

We cry out to you, O God, because our city is gripped by violence, by murder and assault and theft and rape. Worst of all, our city is in the grip of epidemic sin. Sin and the work of Satan is behind all that we see. O Father, too many people have allowed the Devil to occupy the throne of their hearts, rather than letting You rule them. Too many operate from a posture of self-sufficiency, self-will, self-interest, and self-righteousness. Too many people love this world rather than its Creator, and they are full of greed, lawlessness, and disdain for their fellow man and woman.

O Sovereign God, we confess our sins and failures to you. As a society, we have neglected true justice. We have overlooked and become accustomed to crime. We have neglected to support the law and those who enforce it. We have neglected to teach our children and have neglected to support and encourage those who teach them. As a society, we have too often installed ungodly and self-serving leaders who turn a blind eye to corruption and injustice. Too many leaders are more interested in supporting own their parties rather than supporting what is right and true. 

And Father, even when we have tried to uphold justice, we have still been negligent in other ways. If we believe that Christ is Lord, that his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and that he rules with a righteous scepter – if we truly believe these things, why have we failed to spread the gospel to others? Why have we failed to get involved in the lives of our neighbors and friends and communities? Why have we retreated in safety rather than engaging the world around us?

Loving God, we ask that you comfort the grieving and hurting. Be with those who were injured. Heal their bodies, renew their spirits, and help them work through their emotions. Be with the families of the victims. Please, O Father, pour out your love, comfort, and hope into their hearts. Be with us as a community. Help us feel a sense of accountability to one another. Help us demonstrate the love of Christ in all that we do. Help us treat everyone we meet with dignity, love, respect, and kindness. Help us purge suspicion from our hearts and learn to build trust and goodwill with our neighbors. By all means, help us act with wisdom and caution, help us look out for one another, and help each of us work toward a stronger community. 

Righteous God, we ask that you step into this community in a powerful and immediate way. We ask you to put a stop to the madness that has permeated our community. We ask that you enable the police and city officials to effectively do their jobs. We ask that you impose upon the criminals, perpetrators, and their enablers your unmistakable justice. 

We ask you to help each citizen to be more aware of his or her role in deterring evil and restoring a sense of community. Help each of us examine our own hearts for any vestiges of moral indifference, prejudice, and hatred. Help us purge them by the power of your Word and your love. Help parents teach and support their children, to model loving, godly, and righteous living. Help children and young adults think before they act. Help them learn self-control. Help them ask for help when they need it. Help churches preach the gospel without compromise. Help them become spiritual clinics for those who struggle with sin, animosity, despair, and loneliness.

Finally, O God, we praise you for who and what you are. You are the true and living God, the only God. You are eternal, all-seeing, all-knowing, and ever present. You are holy, righteous, and just, and you are also loving, merciful, and gracious. You defend the widow and orphan, the stranger and outcast. You are our creator, sustainer, defender, and redeemer.

We thank you for your tender mercies, your daily provisions, and your constant sustenance. Despite the dark days that surround us, you provide us each day with blessings and reasons for joy and hope. Keep us humble and teach us to walk in your ways. Help set our minds on eternal, spiritual, and good things. Help us live quiet, godly, and dignified lives.

For to you, O God, belongs all power and dominion, all love and mercy, all wisdom and authority, before all time, now and forever more.