A Prayer for Those Affected by the Covenant School Shooting in Nashville
By G. Connor Salter, Crosswalk.com
On March 27, 2023, a shooting occurred at Covenant School, a private Christian school for pre-K to sixth-grade students, in Nashville, Tennessee. Police have confirmed that they entered the building and fatally shot the shooter. At least six deaths (three students and three teachers) have been confirmed.
A Prayer for Students, Teachers, and Family at Covenant School
Lord, a terrible tragedy has struck, and we are again left with pain. Please be with the children at Covenant School. Bring them comfort after this trauma. Give them understanding counselors and kind parents who can ease their pain. Give them the courage to talk about their feelings, so they can grieve and heal.
We ask that you be with the parents and extended families of the students. So often, in these cases, we either try not to talk about what happened because it seems negative or unspiritual to talk about pain. We are also prone to say careless things to our family members in difficult times. We tell each other to “get over it” when we need to talk about it. We remember past traumas, and that leads us to say or do careless things. Help them to find a better way. Help the parents to see that grief is part of healing and to let their children talk about their pain rather than bottling it up in the name of being positive. Help their extended families to know when it’s right to talk, what to say, and when it’s best to just hold someone and let them cry.
We ask that you would be with the teachers and administrators at Covenant School. Give them peace and guide them as they learn to support each other. Show them how to be gracious with each other as they respond in different ways to the trauma. Help them to be honest about their fear and seek the help they need in the months ahead. Guide the school as a whole as it decides what direction to take in the coming months—in the discussions with students, with parents, with the media, in all these areas help them to be wise and caring.
Lord,we are forced each time this happens to remember that this is not a safe world and that you did not tell us it was. You told us that you designed this world to be good, but sin has broken it. Creation itself groans as it craves your return, where all things will be made new, redeemed. As we struggle to understand this pain, remind us that our hope is in something beyond the present. You said, “the kingdom of God is here” when you came as Jesus, but we are still waiting for the kingdom’s fulfillment. As we live in the “already-not-yet” phase, where we know the kingdom is coming but so much is still broken, remind us to hold on to the hope of a better future. Show us how that better future can aid us to provide healing, find joy, and rebuild what’s been broken.
Quotes for Mourning and Hard Times
“Lord God, our Heavenly Father! We implore Thou eternal compassion for all who are this day wounded, suffering, or dying. Be Thou nigh unto them in their affliction. Comfort them with Thy grace and with the hopeful assurance, that, though kindred and friends be far away, Thou art ever present… Help them to bear their pains without murmuring against Thy grace. Give them patience and strength and faith in Thee. May they rest assured, that Thou wilt never leave nor forsake them…” — “Prayer for the Wounded,” Morning and Evening Prayers for All Days of the Week By Dr. John Habermann
"Ills that still grieve me
Soon are to leave me;
Though waves may tower
And winds gain power,
After the storm the fair sun shows its face.
Joys e’er increasing,
And peace never ceasing,
These I shall treasure
And share in full measure
When in His mansions God grants me a place." — Paul Gerhardt, 1666. Translated by H. Brueckner
10 Bible Verses for Mourning
Matthew 5:4 - Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Psalm 147:3 - He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
1 Peter 5:7 - Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Psalm 34:18 - The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Matthew 11:28-30 - Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
John 16:22 - So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
Isaiah 41:10 - So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Revelation 21:1-4 Then I saw "a new heaven and a new earth," for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Lemon_tm
G. Connor Salter is a writer and editor, with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing from Taylor University. In 2020, he won First Prize for Best Feature Story in a regional contest by the Colorado Press Association Network. He has contributed over 1,200 articles to various publications, including interviews for Christian Communicator and book reviews for The Evangelical Church Library Association. Find out more about his work here.
This article is part of our Prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
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