Another act of violence is in the news. Another act of hatred has happened. When will it end?
How many more thoughts and prayers can we think and pray? As many as it takes, for we believe in a God who hears all prayers and is at work in many ways which we cannot see, “The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished” (Nahum 1.3, NIV).
It can seem that acts of violence and hatred happen each day as we watch the news, or get alerts. We don’t want to become desensitized to violence and stop praying, stop hoping for a better tomorrow.
You may be feeling powerless or overwhelmed. You want to do something and prayer is something. We must keep in mind that we are wrestling with a massive evil.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6.10-12, NIV).
As we pray we can identify with all those affected and intercede for them–literally stand in their place and bring them and their grief and burdens before God.
These seven bold prayers can help you do just that. As you pray them, according to the circumstance you are facing, or the emotion that is burdening your heart, you may discover other prayers stirring inside you.
Give them voice out loud, or in the prayer requests section at the end of this article. As well, rest in the peace of this truth from scripture, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart” (Isaiah 40.11, NIV). You are not alone or abandoned.
A Short Prayer Against Violence
God, I lift my prayer to you, the Prince of Peace. I pray against violence in all its forms. I pray for peace in people’s hearts. I pray against the anger, distrust, and hatred that breeds the violence against individuals, groups, and countries. I pray this in the great name of Jesus, the Messiah, Amen.
A Prayer Against Violence and Hatred
Father God, I pray you will stir something deep within me and others to stand up to violence and hatred whenever we encounter it. Empower me and others to speak out and remain firmly in the gap for the weak and the oppressed.
I know I can’t change anyone, Lord, only you can do that. So, I pray for a conviction to weigh down upon the people doing violence in our society. I pray for your Spirit to change the heart of hatred that has hardened to others’ humanity.
Awaken people and open their eyes to what is happening and be unsettled about it. Bring strength for people to combat violence and hatred with peace and accountability. We can do nothing without you, O God, so we pray for you to do your work in us, and through us.
I pray this in the Almighty name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
A Prayer to End Gun Violence
Father God, I ask that you end gun violence in our country. I don’t care about all the politics of it all, I just want to have you put a stop to people killing innocent people with guns.
More families and communities have once again been ripped wide open because someone started shooting at (location). This can’t keep happening, Lord. It’s not good for anyone.
I feel so powerless whenever this occurs. I don’t know what else to do but turn to you in prayer, so here I am, asking for you to intervene. I’m not smart enough to know what needs to happen, but you are Creator of the Universe so I pray you give wisdom to whomever needs it.
I’m just one person, but I know you hear my prayer, so I pray in the confidence given me through Jesus Christ, to bring every care to you. It is in his name I pray, Amen.
A Prayer to End Domestic Violence
Lord God, provide us with the strength only you can provide as we seek to protect the young and the innocent. I just read about an incidence of domestic violence in our city.
I pray you comfort those children who saw what happened. I pray for the mother who is in the hospital right now because of what happened. I ask you give her healing in her body and in her emotions and thoughts.
Make the way straight for her to get out of this horrible situation. I thank you for the domestic violence agency here that is helping her. Grant them provision and resources to give her aid and support she desperately needs.
I pray you help those children heal from the trauma they witnessed and protect them each day. God, get the man responsible into accountability for his actions, so that he can be changed and transformed by your Spirit, even if that means jail time.
I ask these things in the name of the One who is still the Divine Healer, Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
A Prayer to End Racial Hatred
Lord, I don’t understand why people hate other people just because they look different or have a different color skin. Can’t people see that you created us all, so we all matter and are loved and accepted?
I pray for people to step out and experience and get to know people who are different from them, especially racially. I don’t know the answers God, but you said we can ask for anything in your name, so I ask to end racial hatred where I live, in my country.
You can change people’s hearts. Send revival and conviction and an awakening in our land, O God, so that we can see other as brother and sister instead of “not-like-me.” I pray you will convict people of their own insecurity and weakness that makes them feel threatened by people of different races.
You loved the whole world and sent Jesus to die and rise again for each of us, so we know that no one is more important or valuable than anyone else. Make that truth be known, God, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
A Prayer to End Hatred
Dear God, I’m in despair as I see so much hatred in society now. It seems like no one wants to talk with someone if they think differently, vote differently, speak differently, or look differently than them. What happened to loving our neighbors, Lord?
I pray you will work in people’s hearts to end hatred, one person at a time if need by. Soften hardened hearts by your Spirit. Enable people to accept differences. Quiet the insecurity that makes people feel threatened by differences. Close the mouths of those spewing hatred.
When I encounter hatred, give me strength, O God, to speak peace to it. Let me not be intimidated, but to rest in the peace that you, the Almighty God, are with me and never leave me.
While I am incapable of changing anyone’s heart, Lord, I can speak your truth to lies, and be a vessel of love in a day that lacks it. Help me be a light in the dark hollow of hatred whenever I see it. I ask all these things in the strong name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
A Prayer for the Victims of Violence and Hatred
God, I pray for the victims of this latest act of violence. I pray for those who are in critical condition at the hospital. I pray for the parents and families who are grieving those who are dead.
I lift up (name/location of community) which has suffered a great loss in their town.
I pray for the medical personnel who are caring for the victims. I pray for the funeral directors and pastors who are ministering to those in grief.
For each person affected, Lord, give them your very presence. Surround them with a comfort that is only found in you. Protect their fragile emotions right now with your peace, the peace that is beyond their own understanding.
I ask for you, Jehovah Jireh, the Provider, to ensure the victims has all that they need, from housing and food and clothing, to trauma therapy and physical and emotional healing. May they not seek to numb the pain in destructive ways, O Lord.
I ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Getting bombarded with negative news will take a toll. The more we see and hear about violence and hatred happening around us, or even to us, the easier it can be to just give up.
But God would not have us do that, for Jesus said we are the salt of the earth, the light of the world and we are, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven Give us words to speak truth to power” (Matthew 5.13, NIV).
We can pray, using the prayers above, or other prayers that come to your heart. We can also use our hands, our feet, and our hearts, because as followers of God, we put our beliefs into action, even in the face of violence and hatred.
While circumstances may not changing like we want, or at the speed we desire, we can know that one day God will make all things right as “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” (Revelation 21.4, NIV).
We can pray in the hope of that certain future.
We invite you to share your own prayer requests below in the comments section.