In a world that’s broken and shattered,
Plagued by indifference, falsehood, and corruption,
We feel the uncertainty.
We feel the pain.
And we are not helpless.

God, we pray for peace:
For wholeness and healing,
For safety when violence touches us all.

God, we pray for peace:
For justice and compassion,
For acceptance in the face of hatred.

We will not be held hostage to hopelessness.
We pray for peace.
We struggle for peace.
We bring peace.
We will be whole.
God, help us be whole as we pray for peace.

Editor's note: This prayer was written upon reflection of the one-year anniversary of January 15, 2022, when Rabbi Charlie and three congregants were held hostage by a gunman in the sanctuary of Congregation Beth Elohim in Colleyville, TX. After an 11-hour standoff, all the hostages were able to escape when Rabbi Charlie threw a chair at the gunman, distracting him long enough for everyone to get out of the building. Since then, he has spoken out on the importance of security training for religious communities, and especially small congregations, as well as the need to build stronger bridges between faith communities, especially on a local level. He has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees, has been published in news sources including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and has been interviewed and/or profiled for outlets from CNN to CBS.