Moderator prays for Manchester and Egypt

The Moderator of the General Assembly, Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning, has offered these prayers following the terrible events of recent days which have seen dozens of people killed and maimed both here in the UK, and during the attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt earlier today.

Derek Browning

A prayer for Manchester

God of the broken-hearted,

God of the dark places,

We turn to You to find a place

Where we can sit in silence

Or numbness,

And try to begin

To put together our thoughts and feelings.

When tragedy draws near,

And lives are cruelly ended,

When words seem not enough,

And comfort far away,

Draw near, sit with us,

Hold us in the darksome silence.

We bring to You our hurt, our loss,

Our anger, our grief, or incomprehension.

We pray for those who have lost their dear ones,

And for those who wait anxiously by a hospital bedside.

We pray for the walking wounded

Who witnessed and who will take time to come to terms

With what they saw.

We pray for emergency and security services

Who walked in to the danger to help.

In the days and weeks and months and years that lie ahead,

Let prayer continue,

Let hope return,

Let peace come.

These things we ask in the name of Christ,

The wounded healer.

Amen.

Earlier this week, the following Deliverance was passed by the General Assembly

"Express profound sadness at the attack at Manchester Arena and the tragic and pointless loss of life; affirm the courage and grace with which Manchester is already responding; call on the Church to continue to foster deep relationships across communities; and commit us to pray for all affected."

Earlier today, the Moderator briefed the Assembly on the attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt and contributed the following prayer

(Transcribed from a recording)

God of the Fearful, we bow before you at this time

And wonder as we bow our heads

Wonder what kind of world we live in

Where such actions can take place by people claiming faith upon those people who live faith

We hold before you our brothers and sisters from the Egyptian Coptic Church in our prayers at this time

We remember their families and loved ones

We pray for all the people of Egypt

We pray for those who are suffering

And though it may be hard for us

We pray for those who cause the suffering

Gracious God, at times like these we take our freedom too easily

Let us now, through prayer and through other actions

Demonstrate that we follow One who is the Prince of Peace

That our response and the response of people of all faiths and none

May be to shun this wicked action

And to find other ways, better ways, gentler ways

To witness to faith

And for us as a Christian community we ask these things in the strong name of Christ Our Saviour,

Amen.