The following is the Prayer of Intercession given by Amy Jacks Dean during worship services at Park Road Baptist Church on Sunday February 18th.

Gracious God, we pray this day for the 17 who have died. We pray for their mothers and fathers and siblings and aunts and uncles and cousins and spouses and children and friends and teachers - may they know your comfort and care.

May they know your presence to hold them close.

We pray for the one who carried a gun into a school and started shooting and who now sits in jail.

We pray for the SWAT team who charged in risking their very own lives to save others.

We pray for first responders who jumped into action to save the lives of those wounded.

We pray for the eye witnesses who have seen things they cannot ever unsee.

We pray for the almost 3000 students at that high school in Florida who were and are terrified AND for all of the students and parents and teachers across our land in every school who are afraid. May they hear your constant call: Fear Not. Though it seems impossible.

We pray for teenagers who are finding their voice and speaking their anger in protest. May their tribe increase.

Do we dare pray for our politicians who will largely be charged to DO SOMETHING! Yes. We. Do. Dare. Give them your Wisdom and Guidance and Strength and Compassion to DO SOMETHING.

Gracious God, help us to stop speaking and posting in extremes. Help us to stop thinking in "all or nothing" categories. You have made us with more creativity than that. When we hunker down in the extremes we get no where. And we need to get somewhere. Please, O God, help us function out of your Love, your Grace, and your Mercy.

May our "thoughts and prayers" lead us to action, may our "thoughts and prayers" call us to change; may our "thoughts and prayers" lead us to creativity; may our "thoughts and prayers" call us to listen; may our "thoughts and prayers" lead us to speak out; may our "thoughts and prayers" lead us to Remember.



(Photo by Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)