Prayer For Highland Park From Ken Hockenberry

“In Response to violence….

As the news of the gun violence during the July 4th parade in Highland Park continues to emerge, we ask for your prayers for the people of Highland Park and our surrounding communities.  We have been in contact with Pastor Quincy Worthington, who began service at Highland Park in February (2022), and with former Clerk of Session Kathy Salinger and new Clerk of Session Paul Smith, offering our prayers and the support of our entire presbytery.  

Please pray this prayer – or another from your own heart – as we face yet another time of tragedy, and seek the courage to move from lament to hope.   ​​      

– Ken Hockenberry, Stated Clerk  
God of our life, whose presence sustains us in every circumstance, as the sound of gunfire echoes over Highland Park, we seek the grounding power of your love and compassion.
We open our hearts in anger, sorrow, and hope, for those who have been lost,  whose lives have been cut off during a national holiday parade.  
We pray for those who have been spared and those whose lives are changed forever, that they may find solace, sustenance, and strength in the hard days to come.
We give thanks for first responders, who ran toward gunfire, rather than away; who dropped everything to save the wounded and comfort survivors.
We pray for doctors, nurses, mental health providers, and clergy who repair what has been broken,
who try to bring healing and hope in the face of the unchecked principalities and powers of violence.
We ask for sustaining courage for those who are suffering and traumatized
Once again, Holy One, we cry, how long, O Lord?  We wonder, when will it be enough?

We pray you will forgive our tolerance of cultures of violence.  Impel us by your Spirit to renew our commitment to work for an end to gun violence in our nation. In the wake of an event that should be impossible to contemplate, but which has become all too common in our experience, open our eyes,  break our hearts, and turn our hands to the movements of your Spirit, that our anger and sorrow may unite in service to build a reign of peace, where the lion and the lamb may dwell together, and terror no longer holds sway over our common life.  In the name of Christ, our healer, and our Light, we pray,  Amen.

[Adapted from a prayer by the Rev. Dr. Laurie Ann Kraus, former Coordinator, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance]


Resources on Anti-Gun Violence: