Participating Congregations and Organizations
  • American Muslim Voice
  • Bahá'í Community of Palo Alto
  • Beyt Tikkun Synagogue
  • First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) Palo Alto
  • First Evangelical Lutheran Church Palo Alto
  • First Presbyterian Church Palo Alto
  • First United Methodist Church Palo Alto
  • Mountain View Buddhist Temple
  • Palo Alto Buddhist Temple
  • Palo Alto Friends Meeting
  • St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Palo Alto
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Palo Alto (Catholic)
  • Social Action Committee of the Redwood City Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship
  • Trinity Church in Menlo Park (Episcopal)
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
  • Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos
  • West Bay Chapter, Buddhist Peace Fellowship

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Sept. 11 Multifaith Prayer of Lament

O God of Many Names,

Mystery of all Creation,

Source of Life and Love,

You who teach our spirits to sing,

And our hearts to weep:

We gather to celebrate our oneness, to pray for peace, to stand for love, to light a candle -- in a nation and a world that seem filled with division, violence, hatred and darkness.
     RESPONSE: O God, hear our cry.

Give us courage to name and face the gaping wounds and evils around us:

The hatred that led to the attacks of September 11, 2001; the devastation and death of many innocent lives that day; the ensuing spiral of war, revenge and human rights violations, shattering lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and beyond, as well as lives of U.S. women and men in uniform, their families, communities, and friends.
     RESPONSE: O God, hear our cry.

Hatred and white supremacy – from Charlottesville to Palo Alto; xenophobia and bigotry that treat some people as disposable;

Nationalism that justifies war and torture, the build up of weapons of mass destruction, bans on Muslims and refugees, cruel immigration policies and the destruction of dreams;
     RESPONSE: O God, hear our cry.

Religious hypocrisy that denies the sacred image of God in each and every human being;

Ignorance that denies the real crisis of our planet, that offers weak platitudes rather than wise policies in the face of ecological catastrophe;
RESPONSE: O God, hear our cry.

For all we do, and all we tolerate, that destroys the dreams of our children, of any child, for a chance to live in a just and peaceful world.
     RESPONSE: O God, hear our cry.

  Show us our complicity in injustice, and forgive us our indifference.  Awaken us when we remain silent, and guide us when we do not know what to do.

Teach us to pray with our eyes, minds and hearts open, our feet ready to move and our hands ready to work with one another.
     RESPONSE: O God, hear our prayer.

Remind us of how the true spirit of humankind was revealed in open doors and open hearts in response to Sept. 11, 2001, and now again in the face of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Times when we did not focus on nationality, wealth, ethnicity, religion or sexuality, we focused on need.  On humanity.  On love.

Call us back to that place.
Plant in us a passion for human dignity,
grace us with compassion and human kindness,
fortify us with the courage to live faithfully and fully as together we build a world of peace and justice.
     RESPONSE: O God, hear our prayer.


This prayer was led by Farukh Basrai from Anjuman-e-Jamali (Muslim community) and the Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice Steering Committee, and Rev. Mark Arevalo, one of the pastors of Spark Church in Palo Alto, on September 11, 2017.

Please feel free to use and share the prayer.

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