Four days have passed since the unfortunate tragedy that took place Friday morning in Newtown, Conn. We were all rocked by the news of what had happened. I just realized that soon after the news spread about the massacre someone submitted this prayer. My heart sank as I read it, as it touched my heart deeply. Let us all pray for the victims of this community and others who have experienced tragedies such as this. I hope and pray that this prayer encourages those affected by this event and all those who can relate in some way. Thank you to the person who submitted it!
I have been sobbing off and on all day about this tragedy. As a first grade teacher for 3 years, and a parent, I cannot image the shock, horror, and pain this community is going through. Please join me in praying what God is laying on my heart for them:
Dear Heavenly Father,
We pray for the parents of the children killed. God, you love us enough to send your son to die for us, but none of those parents sent their children to school to die today. Be with those parents as they cry out to you for help. Be there with those parents when they scream in anger at the pain of their child’s life being stolen. Please be with them as they struggle with grief, shock, and unimaginable pain at suddenly losing their precious children to a senseless act of violence. God, be their Daddy and help them to come to you for comfort, and find it. Lord, if they have other children, help them to be strong for them. Help these parents to comfort their living children as they mourn together. If these parents are married I pray you strengthen their marriage bond through this instead of allowing the human pain to weaken it. I pray that husbands and wives would comfort and strengthen each other instead of casting blame or displacing their anger and sadness. I pray you give these parents peace in knowing their children are with you in Heaven, rejoicing, playing, in no pain, completely whole, perfect, and happy.
We pray for siblings of the children killed. Kids form a special bond to each other, and now one bond is broken, but not lost. Comfort those siblings with the knowledge that their brothers and sisters will live on in Heaven, in their memories, in their pictures. Lord Jesus, please reach out to these children who may have been arguing last night about a toy, but are sobbing today about never having to share it again. Help them to grieve in a healthy way and not to blame themselves or wish they had been killed too. Jesus, be their friend right now and comfort them.
We pray for the families of the adults killed in this act of terror. Lord, spouses, parents, siblings, friends, never expected to lose their loved ones like this. Please help them to grieve with support. Use these people to create a support network for each other, for the parents of the victims, to all come together and talk and grieve and remember their loved ones together. Please reveal your love and goodness to them when all they feel is hate.
We pray for the survivor students in the building. God, the murderer began firing during morning announcements, so the whole school began their day hearing gun fire, and then living in frantic fear and confusion for the next several hours. Please help them to grieve for their little Kindergarten friends and understand that this was isolated, the bad man is dead, and they should not fear their school. Lord, help them as their safe haven for learning today was turned into a crime scene of horror. God, as they replay the sounds, the sights, please comfort them, help to ease their pain and these scary memories. God, I can’t imagine the nightmares and sadness that will ensue for these children who heard the sound of the first murders. I can only ask that you be their Prince of Peace and give them restful sleep to escape the tragedy, and then a fresh appreciation for their own lives when they wake up in the morning. Please help them as they battle sadness, anger, and confusion about this tragedy. Show them whenever school starts back, that their lives are so precious, and you love them and desire for them to continue to learn and grow up, and NOT feel guilty about living.
We pray for the survivor teachers in that building. Lord, help them to not fear their job. God give them the wisdom to know what to say to their precious students when they return. Give them strength as they try to piece back together their lesson plans and their classrooms and their lives. Lord help them to grieve in a healthy way and not blame themselves for any part of this evil act or not being able to prevent it. Help them to continue to love on their students and communicate with parents that their kids are in a safe place, and these teachers will be the peaceful, helpful tone in the classroom the kids need to return to a sense of normalcy. Please Jesus, remind these teachers to call on you to help them to know what to say, to know what to do when their students struggle with this.
We pray for the people who will come in to this school to be counselors for the students and teachers. God, they are going to hear over and over the horror that the students experienced and the pain they suffer in the aftermath. Be with those counselors as they help the students and teachers to heal. Please show them what to say, what to do to help the school. Help them to help the adults and children alike.
God, we also pray for the family of the murderer. He killed his parents also, so this has certainly got to hurt the rest of their family. Lord, if any of the grandparents are alive, if he had siblings, whomever is alive to carry the burden that their cousin/grandson/brother/nephew did this, please help them. Help that family member who is also grieving.
Lord, please help all students and teachers across this nation. I remember going back to school after the Columbine shooting several years ago and the fear then. Please be with students and teachers and administrators as they plan and review their safety and disaster preparedness. Help them to not fear, to remain hopeful.
Please be with this nation as we try to wrap our arms around this school, this state. Help us to heal. In Jesus’ great name I pray,