Prayers in Time of Crises and remembering 9/11

It’s often hard to pray our own prayers during time of crises.  In the overwhelming shock and weariness we need the comfort of resting and relying on anothers words.  It’s hard not to immediately think of Jesus relying on the words of Psalm 22 when on the cross.

Here are a few resources for you as you think of your prayers for this Sunday, the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  Sorry these are coming so late.

– Prayer of Lament from City Church, San Francisco (pdf)

– Christ the King – Resources on learning to lament

Prayer on 9/11 from Sojourn Church (via Mike Cosper)

Prayer at Ground Zero – from Justin Taylor/Between Two World

– John Witvliet – A Time to Weep: Liturgical Lament in times of crises.

(Condensed outline from the above Witvliet article)
A Basic structure of a prayer of lament, mirroring the structure of the Psalms.

  • Our lament begins with invocation, a startling confession that even in times of crisis, we approach a personal and accessible God.
  • Then, our lament freely addresses this personal God through the picturesque gallery of images used in direct address in the psalms.
  • Our prayer continues with bold lament. We bring our most intense theological questions right into the sanctuary.
  • Then our prayer continues with specific petition: heal us, free us, save us.
  • Finally, our prayer ends with expressions of hope, confidence, and trust, however muted they might be by the present situation.

Psalms of Lament to incorporate into your Prayers.

Community – 12, 44, 58, 60, 74, 79, 80, 83, 85, 89*, 90, 94, 123, 126, 129

Individual – 3, 4, 5, 7, 9-10, 13, 14, 17, 22, 25, 26, 27*, 28, 31, 36*, 39, 40:12-17, 41, 42-43, 52*, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 61, 64, 70, 71, 77, 86, 89*, 120, 139, 141, 142

Songs of Lament

Psalm 51 – God, Be Merciful to Meby Indelible Grace
listen | chords | leadsheet 

Psalm 129 –  Up From My Youth, May Israel Say – by Cardiphonia

Psalm 130 – Out of the Depths by Karl Digerness
listen | leadsheet
Adapted from “Out of the Deep I Call” by Henry W. Baker, 1868 

Psalm 130 – From the Depths of Woeby Chris Miner
listen | chords | leadsheet

Prayers from the BCP

4. For Peace

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn
but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the
strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that
all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of
Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and
glory, now and for ever. Amen.

5. For Peace Among the Nations

Almighty God our heavenly Father, guide the nations of the
world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among
them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they
may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

6. For our Enemies

O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love
our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth:
deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in
your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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