Most merciful God,
We come to this iconic location, as young and old, Black and white, Christians and those of other faiths and none, to draw attention to the tragic loss of young lives in communities up and down the country.
Lord Jesus, you said that you came to our world so that all “may have life, and have it in abundance.” We think of your promise and lament that tomorrow’s doctors, teachers, lawyers, artists and preachers are buried in graveyards, incarcerated in jails or living with life-changing injuries.
We also lament with families who are left both grieving and traumatised by the death of loved ones.
So, we are here to stand by these families as they struggle to pick up the pieces. We want to show them the love you displayed on the cross; a love that commands us to stand alongside those who have experienced loss, and stand together to transform the communities in which we live.
Lord, we recognise that as your people, we can no longer ignore this problem, or work on our own to resolve it, because this will not bring about the change we need.
We thank you O’ Lord, for the excellent work that is already taking place around the country to address serious youth violence, but acknowledge that more must be done.
So, we are here today to ask that you inspire and bless all our efforts to make a difference in the places where we live. May we stand together as care workers, health workers, politicians, teachers, police officers, youth workers and religious leaders and concerned members of the public, and use our God-given talents to tackle an issue that is blighting lives in so many parts of the country.
Finally, may we leave this place informed, inspired, energised to take on the task of saving and transforming lives. We know that this will not be easy, but Lord, we are looking to you for the power we need to do this. In this season of Lent, inspire us by your sacrificial love to do all we can together to end the death, and bring new hope and peace to our communities.
This we ask in Jesus’ name,