I want you to join me in a lament. A crying out that helps us take our anger and sense of injustice to God and call him to act. To step in where things are not the way they should be.
We lament that, since Columbine, more than 150,000 students attending 170 schools in the United States have experienced a school shooting on campus.
In our nation, the expectation that someone will walk into a school and destroy lives has become normal for a generation of young people.
This is not the way things should be. We grieve over the loss of innocence and the ongoing loss of life, and to cry out to God for what He—and WE—should do.
Would you pause and pray this lament with us? For the safety of our students, our teachers, our administrators, our law enforcement officers in every school in Colorado Springs.
If you are one of those people today, we see you, we fear for you, we stand with you, we pray for you.
Sometimes we don’t have the words to pray, so we borrow some. Our lament today is inspired by the book of Lamentations.
Let us pray:
Lord, How deserted lies our schools,
once so full of people!
How like a widow are they.
Bitterly we weep at night, tears are on our cheeks. There is no one to comfort us.
It feels like our school grounds have fallen into enemy hands, there is no one to help.
Look, Lord, on our affliction, for the enemy has triumphed.
Look, Lord, and consider for we feel despised.
This is why we weep and our eyes overflow with tears.
Our children are destitute because the enemy has prevailed.
Our eyes fail from weeping,
we are in torment within;
our heart is poured out on the ground
because our families are destroyed,
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
there may yet be hope.
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
Let us examine our ways and test them,
and let us return to the Lord.
Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
to God in heaven, and say:
“We have sinned and rebelled.”
You came near when we called you,
and you said, “Do not fear.”
You, Lord, took up our case;
you redeemed our lives.
Lord, you have seen the wrong done .
Uphold our cause!
Protect our schools. Give hope to our teachers. Restore courage to our children. Awaken a sense of compassion within our students, to find their voice in speaking up for change, but also in seeing those outlying peers and calling them in. Show our students the difference they can make by befriending the loner and outcast. Empower them to draw others in, so everyone has a place to belong.
Restrain evildoers. Restore them. Give wisdom to our leaders, that they may lead with justice and mercy. Protect our shepherds, our law enforcement. Give them discernment and swiftness of response. Set about our city, O Lord, that we would not see violence win.
Written by Thomas Thompson
If you’d like to pray for schools by name, here is a list of schools in Colorado Springs: