You are our strength in times of trouble.1 Today we are reminded of a wound in our nation’s history. We are grateful for the soldiers, fire fighters and police officers who voluntarily placed themselves in harm’s way to protect us—so many of our brave first responders were lost. This day is also filled with the remembrance of innocent victims who’ve lost their lives.
We know you are a God who sees our pain and comes close to the brokenhearted.2 Unlike many of our nation’s solemn days, we still remember the twisted metal and smoke rising into the horizon over New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania. For many, it is still a day of loss and suffering.
We remember the fear and uncertainty we felt that September morning. But like the Americans at Fort McHenry in 1814, we also remember the hope you gave us as the smoke began to clear and we saw our star-spangled banner, still waving, unfurled over the battlefield our enemies meant to be our place of defeat. Lord, encourage and strengthen us on this day.
I confess there are some of us who are still angry—some still live in fear. Send the Holy Spirit to comfort us, and give us the strength to comfort one another.3 Remind us that we have victory in Christ, and that we can find rest in you:
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being snared.
I pray a blessing of peace on the families who mourn the loss of their loved ones—whether a flight passenger, office worker, fire fighter, police officer or member of the military, each one of the people lost that morning had friends and families who suffer in silence today. May the Comforter4 be sent to their side, and may our communities rise up to meet their needs. Protect our hearts and strengthen our resolve.
1 Psalm 46:1
2 Psalm 34:18
3 2 Cor. 1:3-4
4 John 14:16
This prayer is an excerpt from our book, American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot for Patriot Day. The Kindle edition of the book is available for free on September 11, 2012. Learn more by visiting this post.