Let us take a moment to grieve and pray over the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. Pray your own prayer, or feel free to pray mine.
Father, I lift up the families of the murdered children in prayer. I cannot imagine the pain of those parents who lost their flesh and blood, especially so close to Christmas. Lord, in a few days we were meant to celebrate the birth of your Son, of our Savior. This is supposed to be a happy season full of good memories and joy. Lord, I grieve now for those families who will only know pain this Christmas and every Christmas that follows. I ask that you provide them with family and community members who will help them during this difficult time. Be with the siblings and grandparents of the lost. Shower them with grace and comfort.
For those children who survived, I ask that you allow them to heal from physical injury and mental torment. Do not allow trauma to damage the innocent. Give strength to the parents who did not lose their children so they can help the parents who did. Remind all families how precious their time is together.
Lord, bless the school teachers and administrators of that school. It will never be the same again, and darkness will haunt it. Send your angels to beat back the darkness and pain and shroud this school in light and hope. Be with the families of the lost adults. Allow the names of those teachers to live on with honor. Heal the remaining teachers and give them strength to face what will come. Provide the school with good, strong leaders to replace the heroes who were killed when they tried to protect the children.
Lord, please be with the family of Adam Lanza. They are grieving too, and they will likely face trials and hardships they never expected. Do not let the community hate them or blame them for Adam’s actions. Do not let them blame themselves and succumb to misery. If we find in time that Adam’s actions were spurred by past abuse or encouraged by a member of his family, then please provide the police with these answers and let justice come swiftly. But until then, let us not cast blame on anyone but Adam.
We ask that you give wisdom to our leaders during this time. Allow them to make decisions that are motivated by purity, and not by political ambition. Encourage them to do what is right, what it just, and what is noble. Allow the rest of us to respect our leaders and accept their judgment, or if we disagree, to voice it in a manner that would make You proud. We do not need more hatred in our country, Lord.
Father, you tell us to pray for our enemies. I grieve for Adam – for what he turned into, and for the torment he will undoubtedly receive at the hands of Satan. Lord, keep this evil that plagued Adam away from us, away from our loved ones. Allow us to see the darkness that haunts others and provide us with ways to help them. Give us strength to speak out against evil and discernment to know when we need to get help for ourselves or others.
Lord, remind us to fight for goodness, to battle evil, and to succumb to your light. There is no other way to rid our world of evil. Let this tragedy bring our communities, our families, and ourselves closer to You, closer to your redeeming grace.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.