A prayer in response to the violence in Nice, France, based on Psalm 10.

Prayer by David Adams


Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

We have allowed the persecution of the poor— let them be caught in our petty schemes

We’ve sat on the sidelines while those greedy for gain curse and renounce you and all standards of decency.

We’ve silently complied with those who say “Ours is the only correct faith in God:” “God will not intervene;” and “There is no God” to justify their actions

The world views you as far away, unable or unwilling to intervene in our times and our schemes.

People think in their heart, “We do not need to change what we’re doing. We can enrich ourselves now and forget about consequences.”

Our spokespersons are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; making their living off the marketing of suspicion and violence.

Our enemy sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places they murder the innocent. Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;

they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert; they lurk that they may seize the poor; they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.

They stoop, they crouch, and the helpless fall by their might.

For they are, in their heart, the people who we might become, saying “God has forgotten us, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed.

Why are we continually silent when people renounce God, and say in their hearts, “You will not call us to account”?

But you do see! You see the world’s trouble and grief, and your heart breaks. You see us lose hope and you call for justice and reconciliation.

Help us to live lives worthy of your call, where we meet hate with love, violence with peace, fear with hope.

O Lord, hear the desire of the meek; strengthen their heart, incline your ear to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,

for the peaceful and innocent,

so that those who have lost their way and have forsaken all hope may strike terror no more.

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