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In Response to The September 11th 2001 Terrorist Attack on The USA

The following Prayer Service was prepared by Paul Larsen in the wake of the devastating terrorist attack on the United States of America on September 11 2001. It is our hope that the basic outline, scriptures, and prayers may be of use to you in this time of disaster. Those leading a service based on this outline may wish to substitute hymns from their own traditions and to write their own brief meditations or reflections on the themes suggested.

Paul Larsen writes: "Here is the order of service we used on the night of September 11 2001   If parts of it can be of use to any of you, please help yourselves.   We all have a wonderful opportunity to proclaim the message of the power, love, forgiveness and hope given by God to a world eager for that message."

by Paul Larsen (paullarsen@MEDIAONE.NET)
Christ the King Lutheran Church
New Brighton, MN


L  We gather in the name of God our Creator, Jesus our Saviour 
   and The Holy Spirit who gives us faith.
P  Amen.
L  We gather in shock and horror at the events of this day.  We have come
   together to pray for those who have lost loved one in these attacks and
   for those who were injured.  We gather to acknowledge our anguish and
   to support one another in our sorrow.  We are here to pray for peace as
   we ask God to remind us of the hope we have in the power, peace and
   love of Christ.

L  Please join in a responsive reading of Psalm 13

L  How long, O Lord? Wilt thou forget me for ever? 
   How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? 
P  How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all
   the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 
L  Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; 
   lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; 
P  lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed over him"; 
   lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. 
L  But I have trusted in thy steadfast love; 
   my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. 
P  I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

L  Let us pray for those who have lost loved ones.
P  O God, it is hard for us to imagine that something this horrible could
   happen.  We are shocked and sickened.  We suffer with those who have
   lost loved ones in these terrorist attacks and ask that you would
   comfort them with your presence.  Let your presence give them your
   peace which passes all understanding.  Remind them of the hope they
   have in you.  We know, O God, that you are with us and that you also
   weep over the pain and suffering that has occurred this day.  Amen.

L  A reading from the Gospel According to John

   (NIV)  On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in
   the tomb for four days. {18} Bethany was less than two miles from
   Jerusalem, {19} and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort
   them in the loss of their brother. {20} When Martha heard that Jesus
   was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. {21}
   "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother
   would not have died. {22} But I know that even now God will give you
   whatever you ask." {23} Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise
   again." {24} Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the
   resurrection at the last day." {25} Jesus said to her, "I am the
   resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even
   though he dies; {26} and whoever lives and believes in me will never
   die. Do you believe this?" {27} "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I
   believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come
   into the world." {28} And after she had said this, she went back and
   called her sister Mary aside. "The Teacher is here," she said, "and
   is asking for you." {29} When Mary heard this, she got up quickly
   and went to him. {30} Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but
   was still at the place where Martha had met him. {31} When the Jews
   who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how
   quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she
   was going to the tomb to mourn there. {32} When Mary reached the
   place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said,
   "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." {33}
   When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her
   also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. {34}
   "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they
   replied. {35} Jesus wept.



HYMN:   "In all our Grief"

L  Please join in reading Psalm 121 responsively

L  I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come?
P  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
L  He will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber.
P  Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 
L  The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. 
P  The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. 
L  The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 
P  The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in 
   from this time forth and for evermore.

L  Let us pray for those who have been injured.
P  O Lord, we pray for those who are suffering from injuries sustained
   today.  We think of the terror and trauma, hurt and pain they have
   experienced.  Place your healing hand on them.  Ease their pain. 
   Comfort them and help them to know that you love them and care about
   them.  Amen.


HYMN:  "Healer of our Every Ill"

L  Please join in reading Psalm 46 responsively.

L  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
P  Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, 
   though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 
L  though its waters roar and foam, 
   though the mountains tremble with its tumult. 
P  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, 
   the holy habitation of the Most High. 
L  God is in the midst of the city, it shall not be moved; 
   God will help it when the morning dawns. 
P  The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; 
   he utters his voice, the earth melts. 
L  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. 
P  Come, behold the works of the Lord, 
   how he has wrought desolations in the earth. 
L  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; 
   he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, 
   he burns the chariots with fire! 
P  "Be still, and know that I am God. 
   I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!" 
L  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. 
P  Amen.

L  Let us pray for those who are afraid.
P  O God, these terrorists have managed to fill our hearts with fear.  We
   wonder, "If this could happen what else might occur?"  Ease our fears
   and fill us with faith.  We pray especially for children tonight.  May
   they be comforted in the knowledge that you love them and care about
   them.  Grant us all confidence and courage that even though evil may
   win the day, the final victory is yours.  You have defeated sin, death
   and the devil.  You have promised that we will share in that victory
   and dwell in the safety of your kingdom forever.  Amen.


REFLECTION ON FEAR      - Pastor John Stiles

HYMN:   "Have No Fear, Little Flock"

   L  Let us pray for peace.
   P  O God, peace has been disrupted throughout the world today.  We are in
   terror for we have been terrorized.  The whole world is in an uproar. 
   There is a hunger for revenge and retaliation is on the lips and minds
   of many.  We pray that you might bring peace to our world.  Grant
   wisdom and strength to the leaders of the world as they determine how
   to respond to these acts of terrorism.  Ease our fears and grant us
   peace in the knowledge that nothing can ever separate us from your
   love.  Amen.

   L  A Reading from Paul's Letter to the Philippians 

   (NIV)  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by
   prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to
   God. {7} And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
   will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


HYMN:  "When Peace Like a River"

L  Let us pray for Hope.
P  Almighty God, you have all power and might.  You reign over all that
   exists.  You are our source of comfort and hope.  You sent Jesus into
   the world to be the light of the world.  We pray that you would help us
   now to see the light of hope.  Fill us with faith that we might trust
   in your never ending love, your boundless grace, and your power to save
   us.  Amen.

L  A Reading from Paul's Letter to the Romans

   (NIV)  What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for
   us, who can be against us? {32} He who did not spare his own Son,
   but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him,
   graciously give us all things? {33} Who will bring any charge
   against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. {34} Who
   is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was
   raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding
   for us. {35} Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
   trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger
   or sword?

   No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who
   loved us. {38} For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
   neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor
   any powers, {39} neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all
   creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is
   in Christ Jesus our Lord.


REFLECTION ON HOPE  - Pastor Paul L. Larsen

CANDLELIGHT HYMN "Precious Lord, Take My Hand"

   (We will light candles at this time in remembrance of those who have
   been injured or killed and as a reminder of the hope we have in
   Christ who is the Light of the World.  Please hold lighted candles
   upright at all times.)



   As we leave this place of worship of you would like to use this
   space for further prayer and meditation you are welcome to stay.  If
   you would like to pray with a pastor, please met Pastor Erin in the
   choir chairs and Pastor John by the pastors' bench.  Coffee and time
   for mutual conversation and consolation is available in the Fireside
   Lounge immediately following the service.

copyright - service by Rev. Paul Larsen
          - page by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 2001-2006
            please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.

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