Ash Wednesday Prayer: Our Sin of Violence
We have allowed anger to rule our hearts.
We have prized violence as the solution to our conflicts.
We have given priority to the right to bear weapons of death over the lives destroyed in their use.
We have failed to be the peacemakers you charged us to become.
We have loved ourselves to the exclusion of the lives of others.
We have brought about and allowed death as excusable and an acceptable cost for the freedom to wield tools of violence and war.
We have ignored the plight of children caught in the midst of domestic conflict.
We have turned aside the cries of victims of domestic violence.
We have spurned those who call for an end to a culture of violence.
We have allowed the number of victims of our apathy to continue to grow unabated.
We have not stopped to say loudly: too much!
Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned.
Transform us into agents of your change.
Fill our lives with your grace.
Grant us the courage to work for peace.
Give us the confidence to raise up our voices until your cries are heard.
Bless us with the understanding needed to change the violent reality of our lives and society.
Fashion us into a people ready to eschew violence in exchange for a better way forward.
Make us amenable to learning the way of peace we so desperately need.
Press us to lay down the tools of violence and lift the tools of love in their stead.
Father, forgive us and mold us after your will.
May the tragedies of our living be drastically altered by Your character living in us.
May the ashes of our violence be transformed into new life for all.
—©Copyright 2018, Christopher B. Harbin