The Danger Zone

Violence affects (and infects) everyone. The only "safe space," is to shelter in prayer.

The Scripture

Psalm 59
interpreted by Deborah Beach Giordano

Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me.

Deliver me from those who work evil; from the bloodthirsty save me.

Even now they lie in wait to destroy me; the mighty stir up strife against me — though I have done no wrong, O Lord!

For no fault of mine, they rush to prepare their attack. Don’t delay, come to my help and see!

You, Lord God of hosts, are God of my people. Rise up to punish all — all who do evil; don't spare a single one of the treacherous, the sly and the devious who plot evil.

Hear me, Lord!

Every evening they return, howling like jackals as they prowl over the city. They growl and snarl, ripping and tearing at their victims — for “Who,” they think, “will oppose us?”

But You laugh at them, O Lord; they are contemptible, as far beneath You as the sea bed is from the mountaintop.

O my Strength, I am watching and waiting for You; for You, O God, are my fortress.

My God, my steadfast defender, will stand with me; my God will let me triumph over my enemies.

Do not kill them, lest my people forget; make them stumble by Your power, and bring them down, O Lord, our protector.

For their lies, their deceits, their smug certainty of success, let them be trapped in their pride.

For the cursing and lies that they utter, consume them in wrath; devour them utterly and leave no trace. Then it will be known — to the ends of the earth, to the end of time — that God is our sovereign protector.

Hear me, Lord!

Every evening they return, howling like jackals as they prowl over the city. Digging through refuse and filth, they snarl and snap if they do not get their fill.

But I will celebrate Your power. Every morning I will sing of Your faithful love — I will sing from the rooftop, so that everyone will hear; for you have been my fortress and my refuge throughout these terrible times.

O my Strength, I will sing praises to You, for you, O God, are my fortress and my refuge; the faithful One who can be relied upon.

I praise You, Lord!

Photo of a flower

A Prayer for Defense

In Times of Conflict, we pray:

God of grace and peace,
I pray for our world,
where hatred and fear are sovereign,
where violence is a solution,
where starvation,
shutting down,
shutting off,
silencing the cries of the suffering
is our daily bread.

I pray, O Merciful,
for those who suffer
who cry and bleed and die
while their persecutors smile;

and I pray for their persecutors
that they shall turn away from evil
and do good;

I pray, Almighty God,
for those who fight
to survive;
who love freedom
and hate tyranny;

and I pray for the tyrants
that they shall turn away from evil
and do good;

You, alone, God of grace and mercy,
can make these blessings flow,
can heal crippled minds,
can give sight to the blind,
can transform hardened hearts;

I pray, O Merciful,
for the people of my nation,
and all other nations;
for the rulers of the earth:
the foolish, the corrupt,
the well-intentioned,
and the tyrants —
for all,
that they shall turn away from evil
and do good;

I pray, Gracious Eternal,
for the ache in my soul,
the pain in my heart,
the confusion in my mind;

and I pray for the tyrant in me:
who never doubts or relents,
who despises and demeans
and would readily destroy another —
even many others;

You, alone, God of grace and mercy,
can make these blessings flow,
can heal crippled minds,
can give sight to the blind,
can transform hardened hearts;

And let it begin with me.