Duke Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery offers this prayer on the evening of Wednesday, January 6, 2021.
An Evening Prayer at the End of a Violent Day in the Nation’s Capitol
(inspired by Psalm 46)
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come. We need help and we need hope. As violence rages and raises its head and hands at the heart of this nation’s democracy on Capitol Hill, we pray for peace and protection of the innocent and vulnerable. As political divisions turn into disgust for fellow human beings, we pray for real communion that is rooted in humility, truth, justice, compassion, and mutual love. In the uproar of this day, remind us that there is safety in you and that you are our refuge and strength, a very present help in a time of trouble. Remove fear from our hearts and fill us with faith in You.
Though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult, though violence seeks to tear apart this nation, remind us, O Lord, that there is a river whose streams flow with grace and love, and there is a peace that tears down walls of division.
Holy God, make wars cease. Break the bow. Shatter the spear and call us to be still in your eternal presence that we may find wisdom for living together today and tomorrow as your children.