Have Mercy on Us: A Prayer Response

On Sunday morning, Aug. 5, in a small town in Wisconsin six Sikhs worshipers were gunned down in their Gurdwara, place of worship, by a racist who then killed himself. On Sunday afternoon, the Sikh community issued a newsletter calling on the interfaith community to show solidarity with them by holding prayer vigils in our own places of worship. I do not know if my church will hold a prayer vigil. So I will pray my prayer and stand in silent worship in my home. — Doris Abdullah, Church of the Brethren representative to the United Nations and chair of the Human Rights Sub-Committee for the Elimination of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance

“And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat, and the whole multitude stood on the shore” (Matthew 13:2).


O Lord, you are in the boat, and we are standing on the shore. Have mercy on us, our failure to respond to the violent hatred that darts across our land against those who worship differently, or who are not perceived to be of pure European origins, or who are poor and uneducated.

If only we could drown all the hate in the waters of love that you offer to the people. Let us not go on watching you, Lord Jesus, from the shoreline. Let us abandon our fears and swim out to thank you for a life everlasting. Swim out and thank you for the oldest of those killed, 84 years of age. Thank you for the brave policeman who had been shot eight times but waved away help for himself so other injured could be helped. And thank you for all the lives that were saved from the gunman on Sunday morning.

Thank you for another day to show that in solidarity prayer, good fruits without the blemish of hate can come forth. Lord have mercy on us as we pray. Amen