Praying in Despair and Anger

Rev. Wendy Komori Stager

In response to the events at the A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. the Moderator and leadership team of the Presbyterian General Assembly shared this prayer.

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, God who has brought us thus far on our way, only you know why someone would enter into your house of worship and open fire on your children. Only you know why hate would run so deep that it would cause one of your creations to kill others you have formed. In our confusion over this senseless act, we appeal to you for understanding and courage to continue to fight for justice. We pray right now for the families of those who lost lives at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. on June 17, and ask that you would wrap your loving arms around them and the entire community. Likewise, we pray for an end to the continued racial unrest and violence that permeates the United States and the world, and ask you to guide us to work earnestly for change. Now unto you who is able to keep us from falling, we pray all these things.  Amen.


I wonder, is it too simple a thing to pray after a tragedy like this.  I can feel like it is a trite answer to such a deep problem.   Yet on the other hand, turning to God is the most faithful response I can think of.  The difference lies in what we are praying for and why.   Are we praying for our own comfort or praying for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven?  Are we turning to God and allowing God to change us in the holy conversation of prayer?