A Prayer for Protection in a Time of Violence

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

I know I am not the only one worried about violence erupting in the United States in these days leading up to Biden’s inauguration. There have been threats of violence against churches and members of congress. Right wing groups have called for raids on every state capitol. Too many people with deeply held racist beliefs are heavily armed and extremely angry.

It is a frightening time, and I wanted a prayer to pray in these days. St. Patrick’s Breastplate came to mind, and when I looked it up, I found that it was almost–but not quite–exactly what I needed to pray right now. So below is a slightly revised version of the prayer. In addition to taking out a few parts and changing some language to reflect our current situation–and my theology–the primary thing I did was to change “I” to “we.” In my prayers right now, I need to remember that there are many praying–and working–with me for peace and justice.

I invite you to pray with me in these anxious days–maybe this prayer or maybe your own. May you know God’s deep peace in the midst.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate, Adapted: A Prayer for Protection in a Time of Violence

We arise today
Through a mighty strength
Calling on the Creator of creation.  

We arise today
Through the strength of Jesus:
Born and baptized,
Crucified and buried,
Resurrected and ascended
in defeat of violence and death forever.

We arise today
Through the strength of love,
In the hope of resurrection,
In the prayers of our ancestors,
In the preachings of prophets,
In the resistance of the righteous.

We arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Shining of sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

We arise today
Through God’s strength to lead us;
God’s might to uphold us,
God’s wisdom to guide us,
God’s hand to guard us.

We summon today all these powers
and place them between ourselves and evil;
We place these Holy powers
Against every cruel power that opposes the bodies and souls of God’s beloveds,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against those who are lawless,
And against those who shield their evil with the law,
Against worship of nation or race or leader,
Against all lies that the unrighteous speak and live.

Christ in your strength
Shield us today
From violence of word,
From violence of deed,
From violence of policy,
From violence of spirit.

We arise today
Through a mighty strength,
Calling on the Creator of creation.


In case you’re interested, I have two new pieces over on the Rev. Gal’s website this week:

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