I very rarely share my nightly prayers, for many different reasons, but tonight is different. With tragedy so close to home, I share because I care
I pray for the members of the families of the fallen and all innocent men and women across the world who die at the hands of senseless bigotry and selfish acts of cowardice perpetrated in the name of God or Allah
I pray somehow love and forgiveness, not hate and retribution, will fill the sadness of those stricken with the duties of carrying such soul burdens
I pray this circumstance will never be a burden my friends and family will ever have to endure. But if we do, we will not look to hate-blaming and bitterness for our consolations
I pray our military, our police men and women, and our first responders on accidents and crime scenes, who risk their lives every day to make sure I am safer, be kept just as safe
I pray for the family of this lost young man, who whether right or wrong in terms of religion and fear meets generational frustration, might have comfort in knowing there are people in Chattanooga and across the world who are also praying they find peace as well.
I pray for all those who think violence begetting violence, through war plus death, is a human equation that will never result in the betterment of our humanity.
I pray for those who live in a world where absolutism and broad stroke cultural paintings, sketched by historical interpretation, class and bigotry, will not set a young person in the footsteps of evil, nor give a lost individual the roadmap and gasoline they need to start driving towards the rest of us
I pray that Allah, or God, or whatever you believe publicly, you will have the courage to step forward and speak out when you see religious doctrine being hijacked in the name of political agenda, hunger of power meets hate mongering alongside individual financial gain
I pray all faiths and families will believe putting consideration before selfishness is indeed a religion, one without the need for communal public acknowledgment and acceptable recognition.
I also pray hope and selflessness might become an establishment that more folks might want to belong
I pray if you are reading my prayers you might know how much love is always around you. I pray you will find the courage to side step judgment and hate by turning off your TV and Internet to step outside and say hello to a few neighbors and friends; I promise if my prayers are answered tonight you will be met with an infectious inflection made of trust, sincerity and love; giving you the light and generosity Jesus himself spoke about and lived
Lord hear my prayers tonight, for so many are questioning and worrying; let those who question and judge remember the power of resurrection, as we say good-bye to our befallen and they say hello to the Heavens
Lord Hear My Prayer