Hello friends.

Like many of you, I have been closely following the news in Watertown and Boston.
It is a perplexing, frightening situation.

I stayed up late following the MIT shooting and the carjacking on Twitter, hours before authorities knew for certain that it was all connected.

Many have said, "It seems like a movie" and it does.

But it's really, really, really important for us all to remember that this is NOT a movie.  These are real people, real families, real folks being commanded to stay in their homes, real SWAT team members prepared to risk their lives, real bombing victims who remain hospitalized. This is a real story.  And our real prayers are needed.

Let us be in prayer today.

Here are a few prayers put together by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I invite you to pray them and share them with others. God is present in the midst of this.

Eternal God, amid all the turmoil and changes of the world your love is steadfast and
your strength never fails. In this time of danger and trouble, be to us a sure guardian and
rock of defense. Guide the leaders of our nation with your wisdom, comfort those in
distress, and grant us courage and hope to face the future; through Jesus Christ, our
Savior and Lord. Amen.

God, our refuge and strength, you have bound us together in a common life. In all our
conflicts, help us to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, to listen for your
voice amid competing claims, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We pray to you, almighty God, in this time of chaos and violence in the Boston area. You are our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Do not let us fail in the face of
these events. Uphold us with your love, and give us the strength we need. Help us in our
confusion, and guide our actions. Heal the hurt, console the bereaved and afflicted,
protect the innocent and helpless, and deliver any who are still in peril; for the sake of
your great mercy in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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