O God of mercy and grace, You bring hope in the midst of senseless tragedy and light in the midst of deepest darkness: we confess our need for the Risen Christ as we face into the realities of gun violence in the United States of America. We are mindful especially of the deaths of innocent shoppers in a Buffalo, New York grocery store, and students and teachers in classes at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. So many children and adults have become fatal victims of young men with access to powerful weapons.

We grieve with those loved ones who lost their lives in these shootings, and for so many in other shootings across this nation. We lift to Your compassion, the injured, and pray for your healing grace. We beseech your presence to be with so many schoolchildren and area residents whose souls are scarred forever by these crimes. May You walk with them, dear Lord, in the valley of the shadow of death.

Deliver this nation, almighty God, from profound anxiety and anger. Help all of us to see Your hand at work in the world about us. We bring before you those who serve in the Senate and the House of Representatives and ask that You guide them with wisdom and fairness in dealing with the meaning of the Second Amendment. Convert our minds and hearts to give all citizens a proper perspective in the use of firearms.

Release your Holy Spirit, o God, to put our full faith and trust in you. Let Your peace which passes all understanding and direct us to be peacemakers in time of anguish and sorrow. Bless us and sustain us now, and in every time of challenge, through Jesus Christ, the King of peace. Amen.