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Prayer Service for

Families Coping with a Tragedy

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C O M E T O GE T HE R A S A FA MILY. Set aside time for reflection and discussion. Turn off the

news for a few moments. Gather together in a circle. Join hands if you wish. Take a moment of silence.

S AY S O M E T HING LIK E T HIS:

“This is a time we need to connect with loved ones. This is a time we need community. This is a time we need to pray, talk, share our hearts, cry, listen, and grieve.”

INV IT E S O M E O NE T O R EA D T HE FO LLO WING SC R IPT UR E PA SSA GE.

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” Luke 19:41-42

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INV IT E E A C H FA M ILY MEMB ER to share their thoughts and their feelings. Make sure

everyone gets a turn to talk, but anyone can “pass” if desired.

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AFTER EVERYONE HAS HAD A CHANCE TO SHARE, offer the following prayers.

“God, We pray for ourselves, growing up in an unsteady and confusing world. Show us that following you is better than chasing after our selfish goals. Help us to take failure not as an end but as a new start. Give us strength to hold our faith in you, and to keep alive our joy in your creation. Amen.” — Gabe Estes, Blanchet School, Salem, OR, from Life Can Be a Wild Ride, p. 72

“Dear God, help me live a peaceful life. Guide me to continue to blossom as a peacemaker. Help me realize the pain and suffering of others so I may do whatever is needed to be done, to help bring peace to others. Open my eyes to all of the injustices on earth. There are times when I try not to notice suffering because I don’t want to recognize all of the people who live in poverty, in fear, and in loneliness. Open my eyes to the cry of all people who have not found peace within themselves. It is they who are in most need of your love. I am your humble servant, God. Help me to follow Christ’s footsteps so that I, too, may do your will. Amen.” — Luis Sanchez, Saint Sebastian School, Santa Paula, CA, from Life Can Be a Wild Ride, p. 75

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INVITE FAMILY MEMBERS TO VOICE THEIR PRAYERS.

CONCLUDE YOUR TIME TOGETHER BY PRAYING THE FOLLOWING PRAYER:

God, thank you for being with us in our time of confusion and sorrow. We are confident you remain present to all those whose suffering is beyond our comprehension as a result of this tragedy. Please bless them with comfort and support. Amen.

HOW MIGHT YOUR FAMILY RESPOND with help and assistance? There will surely be

many, many people who will need much help and support in the coming weeks. Look for opportunities to volunteer your time and make contributions.

This activity is taken from the Saint Mary’s Press website at www.smp.org, Copyright © 2000 by Saint Mary’s Press. Permission to reprint has been granted. The Scripture in this resource is from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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About World Vision W O R L D V IS IO N is a Christian humanitarian organization

dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, World Vision serves alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people. We see a world where each child experiences “fullness of life” as described in John 10:10. And we know this can be achieved only by addressing the problems of poverty and injustice in a holistic way. That’s how World Vision is unique: We bring 60 years of experience in three key areas needed to help children and families thrive: emergency relief, long-term development, and advocacy. And we bring all of our skills across many areas of expertise to each community we work in, enabling us to care for children’s physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Partnering with World Vision provides tangible ways to honor God and put faith into action. By working, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of children and families who are struggling to overcome poverty. To find out more about how you can help, visit www.worldvision.org.

About World Vision Resources E NDING GL O B A L PO V ERT Y and injustice begins with education:

understanding the magnitude and causes of poverty, its impact on human dignity, and our connection to those in need around the world. World Vision Resources is the publishing ministry of World Vision. World Vision Resources educates Christians about global poverty, inspires them to respond, and equips them with innovative resources to make a difference in the world.

For more information about our resources, contact: World Vision Resources Mail Stop 321 P.O. Box 9716 Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 Fax: 253-815-3340 wvresources@worldvision.org www.worldvisionresources.com

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Praying About a Tragedy or Crisis