Christian Leaders Offer Prayer, Aid, Shelter for London Victims

The Evangelical Alliance of UK issued a prayer list for the victims of today’s bombings in London, and said clergy members are working alongside Emergency Service workers to provide shelter, aid and prayer.

"We need to pray earnestly for those who have suffered loss or injury and call on God to bind up the broken hearted. I have found Psalm 46 a great comfort at this time,” said the EAUK’s General Director, Joel Edwards, in a press release.

The prayer list was released in the aftermath of four deadly bombings in central London. According to U.S. officials, at least 40 were killed and 390 injured when three bombs blasted in a London subway and one tore open a packed double-decker bus.

The attacks coincided with the opening of the G-8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. Prime Minister Tony Blair, who rushed from the summit to return to London, labeled the bombings “terrorist attacks” and said such violence would not stop the work of the summit.

Edwards, whose group supported the “Make Poverty History” campaign that rallied for the G-8 leaders to eliminate poverty in Africa, suggested a number of topics “for those who wish to pray.”

The topics were: Pray for healing and comfort of the injured; Pray that the hospital crisis plans would work effectively and patients will receive the care they need; Pray that the emergency services will work together effectively; pray that fatalities would be few and that the families of those who have died will be comforted; Pray that the Christians involved would know God’s peace and be able to share it with others; Pray for the churches in central London that are responding to the crisis by opening their doors and providing comfort; Pray for Christian organizations like the Salvation Army as they respond in practical ways to help; Pray that community relations would not be damaged in the aftermath of such events; and pray for commuters to have a safe journey home tonight and for London to recover quickly.

Meanwhile, Rev. Samuel Kobia, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, urged Christians to pray and work for peace.

“This kind of event is a call to all of us, churches, other religious organizations and the whole of humanity to strengthen our commitment to building a just and peaceful world where all human beings may feel secure and safe in their homes, in their cities and communities,” Kobia said through a press statement.

Earlier in the day, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Benedict XVI offered their condolences and prayers for the family members of the victims.

"All those caught up in this tragedy…all are in my own prayers and in the prayers of a great many people,” said Dr. Rowan Williams, the head of the 70-million-member Anglican Communion.

In a telegram sent to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, Pope Benedict said he was praying for the victims of the “barbaric acts against humanity.”

"Deeply saddened by the news of the terrorist attacks in central London, the Holy Father offers his fervent prayers for the victims and for all those who mourn,” the telegram, signed by the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, read. “While he deplores these barbaric acts against humanity, he asks you to convey to the families of the injured his spiritual closeness at this time of grief."

Williams, meanwhile, emphasized the need to stand in “solidarity and common purpose” in a time of “pain and sorrow and anger.”

"We in the faith communities will have to continue to stand and work together for the well being of our nation and for our shared understanding of the life that God calls us to. I hope that we shall all keep that vision alive at this deeply sad and testing time."