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A Radical Prayer on Gun Violence

Posted by Erin Bechtol

In light of the recent school shooting in Florida, below is a repost of John Dear’s prayer for an end to gun violence published in his book, Radical Prayers: On Peace, Love and Nonviolence.

A Prayer for an End to Gun Violence

Dear God,

Please send your healing Holy Spirit among us
that we will end the horrific epidemic of gun violence,
that the killings might stop,
and that we all might become more nonviolent.

In recent years,
we have suffered
mass killings,
street killings,
accidental killings,
and suicides from guns.

We grieve for all those killed and injured
through gun violence,
especially in massacres such as
the Las Vegas concert shooting
where 58 were killed and over 500 injured;
the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando
where 49 were killed and 53 injured;
the San Bernardino, CA office shooting
where 14 were killed and 17 injured;
the Oregon community college shooting
where ten were killed;
the Charleston, SC church shooting,
where nine were killed;
the Aurora, CO movie theater shooting
where 12 were killed and 70 injured;
the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting
where 26 were killed;
the Virginia Tech shooting
where 32 were killed;
and the San Antonio, TX church massacre,
where 26 were killed, and another 20 wounded.

Long ago, Jesus said that
“Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”

We have become people who live by the gun,
and so we are people who are dying by the gun.

Our culture of violence is so sick
that senseless gun killings have become normal.

We beg for a spiritual conversion of heart
from gun violence to Gospel nonviolence.

We beg for a healing conversion
from the sick dependence on guns
and temptation to do violence with guns
to the transformation of disarmament
and healing nonviolence.

We beg for a political conversion from
the National Rifle Association political power
and the unbridled corporate greed
of the gun manufacturers
to the end of all gun violence as our political priority.

We beg for a cultural conversion from a culture of guns
to a culture of nonviolence and gunlessness.

Inspire us to do what we can to end these killings—
to end the political control
of the National Rifle Association;
to stop the corporate greed behind
the gun manufacturers and the NRA
which leads to rampant gun violence and countless deaths;
to set new laws requiring background checks
and safety procedures; and
to end the proliferation and use of handguns.

We ask for the grace that gun manufacturers and NRA members
renounce the greed behind the pro-gun movement
and pursue practical gun control legislation;
that we might all put down our guns and disarm;
that we might find our security in nonviolent love
for one another and in God;
and that we might all find
our identity not in gun ownership
but in living nonviolently
as your beloved sons and daughters.

May we all renounce violence and take new steps
toward a culture of nonviolence
where no one gets killed,
where no one has a gun,
where everyone practices nonviolence
toward everyone else.


 Order your copy of Radical Prayers here.

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