The board of Discipleship Ministries and The Upper Room gathered last week in Nashville, TN. Friday morning, Brenda George, Lay Speaker and Member of Wilson Temple United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, offered our morning devotion.
She offered these healing words, and we now offer them to you:
Loving God, you are the creator and sustainer of our lives. You know the pain of those who mourn; you are attentive to the prayers of the brokenhearted. Hear now your people as we cry out to you in our need; strengthen our hope in your lasting goodness. We pray today for those who have died in New Zealand because of an act of violence, terrorism and hate. May their souls be greeted into your kingdom with choirs of angels and may they experience your eternal peace and joy. Draw them to your presence; let your face shine upon them. Be close to all who have been touched by this terrible act of violence: grant healing to those who have been wounded, comfort those who have lost loved ones and give blessed assurance to those who have lost their sense of security. Soften the hearts and renew the minds of all those who would do violence to others. May hate be replaced with love, violence with peace and darkness with your light
Teach us, O God, to love you more deeply, that we may praise you—not with our lips only but with our whole lives—turning the responsibilities, the sorrows, and the joys of all our days into a living sacrifice to you. Pour out your Spirit on us, and guide and strengthen us in all that lies ahead, that together we may be one in ministry to all the world; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, the One in whom we are one. AMEN.
Brenda George is a Lay Speaker and Member of Wilson Temple United Methodist Church (Raleigh, North Carolina).