i would hand you a candle if i could. and we would light them together in trembling silence, for all of those children at Sandy Hook School Elementary, for all of those mamas with their torn veils and their husbands with a broken stance over their wives who’ve seen something no one should ever have to see, and for the mother whose son did it all, and for the son too.

and for all of us who’ve ever wished anyone dead, and for all of the shootings across america over the years, will you bow with me? spend moments this weekend, even as you bake bread hands dusted from flour, even as you scrub toilets and soothe children’s cries, even as you decorate the christmas tree, will you pray?

i am going to write out two prayers below, and if you don’t have words of your own, please feel free to lean on these for today and tomorrow, as we bleed for a country that’s lost 28 and counting to an angry son. 

prayer #1

oh heavenly father, 

we lift up those families with the empty chair at this christmas season, the family that waved goodbye to a little girl or boy yesterday morning as they headed onto the school bus, not knowing they would never return, not knowing there was a boy whose fingers would pull the trigger on an unsuspecting town. 

we don’t understand, God. we don’t know why you allow these things, but we do know that in spite of this tragedy, you are good. you are still good, and we ask that you would shower these sobbing families with your goodness, that they would know your presence in the days to come and somehow, with the strength of your son who forgave us, be able to forgive the boy who stole their child. 

and we ask God that you give us strength to love our children, to speak their language, to know how to allow you to enter the gaps in their souls so they never feel the kind of ache that pulls a trigger. we ask that you forgive our sins and keep them from passing on to our children. we pray protection over our families, over our loved ones. 

oh Lord, we ache for heaven. we ache for your return. please hurry. in Jesus’ name, amen.

prayer #2

dear Lord, 

we come before you and give you the name of Adam Lanza. Lord, you know this 20-year-old boy whose mother worked at the school, you know what caused him to pull that trigger on that fateful friday and you know what sort of evil stopped his ears to the cries of those children. 

we don’t understand, but we pray that in the coming days, justice would be had, but mercy too.
be with Adam’s brother, Lord, and let him know grace even as he is cloaked in Adam’s shame. be with him as he laments his mother’s and brother’s deaths. be with him, Lord.

thank you God, that you are sovereign. in Jesus’ name, amen. 

(also praying for all of the loss experienced by those in Oregon… so much sadness… so much grief…)

**for another prayer, please visit HERE; and for a beautiful reflection on advent and lament, please visit HERE

(photos taken from here and here