(Ed. Note: While a bit delayed from the circumstances of the bombings in Boston at the Marathon, I still hope you find my prayer meaningful.  ~AVH)

Gracious Divine One,


We turn once again to you humbly in prayer this day. We understand, O God, that today all around the world too many of your children died untimely deaths. Too many sisters and brothers died from malnutrition, war, sexual violence, homicides, suicides, and many other forms of death which are not part of the natural ebb and flow of creation. Even so, we cannot help but be touched in a particularly compelling way by the tragedy which happened on the streets of Boston this day. Hear our prayers this day.


The bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon this afternoon caught us once again off guard, O God, and struck us deeply and profoundly. During what should have been an event of the exuberant celebration of life and the indomitable human spirit instead became a testimony to the incomprehensible evil of which we human beings are capable. The same video cameras which were capturing the successful completion by weary athletes at the end of a world renown athletic event captured instead the horror of explosions killing and wounding unsuspecting bystanders and cheering fans. Pictures burn into our minds of gray smoke shooting from a city street with the flags of many nations fluttering in the putrid blast of the bombs. And then, O God, our righteous anger burns even brighter as we name the young children killed and maimed today. Like too many similar tragedies these images will be seared into our individual and collective memories and will haunt us.


We ask the obvious, but we know as people of faith there is power in the asking, in the turning to you, in the releasing of our pain and our anger and our fears to you. Be a comforting presence to families and friends grieving their dead loved ones. Be a healing presence with those who are hospitalized and even undergoing surgery this moment as we pray, as well as with those who watch and pray in surgery waiting rooms. Be a wise and diligent presence with those officials, city, state, and federal, who are hard at work seeking to bring clarity and justice to this horrific situation. Be a cautious and grounded presence to a world which looks on helplessly.


O Holy One, forgive your people our unholy moments. Remind us of the ancient truth made new with each breath, that you are with us in the smoke, the blood, the heroism and the horror, so that we might never blame you for our own faults, but rely more fully upon your sacrificial presence through it all to find comfort, strength, and – someday – hope.


In the name of Love Incarnate we pray,



Rev. Allen V. Harris