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Prayer For Families In Newton Connecticut

This morning, as everyone probably knows by now, 20 kids and at least 6 adults were killed in Sandy Hook Elementary school by a young man with a gun. I cannot hope to match President Obama’s eloquence in describing how this kind of thing makes most of us feel. He has spoken for me – and I suspect for most people in our nation – so here’s the video and transcript if you haven’t seen it. He, somehow, finds the right words after these horrible events, which I so appreciate. At the bottom of this post I have written an inadequate prayer. There is no way to heal this kind of grief and loss with a few words. All we can do is try to comfort each other in whatever way we can. This is my attempt.

This afternoon, President Obama made a statement from the Briefing Room on the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. The video is above, the transcript below:

THE PRESIDENT: This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation, and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.

We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years.  And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would — as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.

The majority of those who died today were children — beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers — men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.

So our hearts are broken today — for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain.

As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago — these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.

This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight. And they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans. And I will do everything in my power as President to help.

Because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need — to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours.

May God bless the memory of the victims and, in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.

Prayer For The Families In Newton, Connecticut

Dear God,

I have no words.
You know what I am feeling.
You know the state of my heart and mind.
You know I would take away this terrible pain
From these families left behind
And from our country as a whole.

I don’t know how to do it, but You do.
So comfort them as they grieve.
Make Your Presence known
And help them understand this terrible goodbye
Is not final nor forever.

Their loved ones still live.
That is of so little comfort, now,
Yet let them know, God, let them know.
Let them each have an experience
– a dream or a vision or a sudden knowing –
That those they love still live
And are now joyfully with You,
Sending love back down to them who miss them.

For me, take all I am and use it on their behalf.
My energy is Yours. Send it to them for healing.
My love is Yours. Send it to them, to comfort them.
My heart is Yours. Awaken it to what I can do for them.
My mind is Yours. Inform it as to what I can do
So this is the end of such terrible cruelty
Of ripping families apart
Of traumatizing children and adults
Of having no answers or solutions or will to change.

I take responsibility for this event
And for the inability of my nation
To find answers so this type of violence
Finds no one willing to express it.

Change me, shape me, use me
For the good of all.

I turn myself over to You.
Make me an instrument of your peace.

I ask that whatever contribution I have ever made
To this kind of suffering
Through unkind thoughts, words or deeds
Is transmuted and changed into love.

Make me an instrument of your love.

Help me become what I need to be
So such willful agony
Is never again inflicted.

Help my nation become what it needs to be
So such willful agony
Is never again inflicted on her families.

Thank You, God.
I trust You to make all things right,
I trust You to heal the brokenhearted,
I trust You will bind up our wounds,
And I trust You will transform our nation
Into a place of higher Light.

And so it is.

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