Praying Through Unthinkable Tragedies
“The massacres in El Paso and Dayton [and also recently, in Gilroy, CA] are unthinkable tragedies for the victims, their families, and America. But they are snapshots of what happens in a nation when the ‘foundations are destroyed’ (Psalm 11:3). Having been built upon biblical morality and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, America has progressively departed from God, removed Him from every sphere of culture, and replaced Him with secularism that leads to death (Proverbs 14:12). The culture’s reaction to faith following an earlier shooting illustrates that even prayer is being mocked in an increasingly secular society. But prayer is definitely part of the answer, and giving God His proper place in our lives and in every sphere of society is essential.
Biblically speaking, when tragedy strikes, the first line of action is prayer! Even if it is a short cry, ‘God, please help!’ ‘Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me’ (Ps 50:15; see also: Ps 55:16; 86:7; 91:15; 118:5; and the warning: Prov 1:22-33). America is in deep trouble. Gun control is not the answer! Turning to God as a people is. So is bringing up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4); preaching the whole counsel of God from our pulpits without fear of controversy or rejection (2 Tim 4:1-4); educating our children, high school, and college students from a clear, unequivocal biblical worldview (like the education our Forefathers received); public insistence that leaders in every sphere of cultural influence (churches, families, government, education, entertainment, the media, business — see brief video by Os Hillman) promote God and righteousness and refrain from practicing or approving anything God declares to be evil (Dt 28: all). It is electing and appointing God-fearing men and women to public office and positions of leadership who possess and demonstrate biblical knowledge and wisdom. It is choosing those who lead clean lives that affirm their profession of faith. Only such will curb the proliferation of evil we are seeing. Taking away people’s freedoms and right to self-defense by compromising or abolishing the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would only serve to accommodate future tyranny. Ultimately, we must pray, pray, pray (2 Chr 7:14; Is 56:7; 1 Tim 2:1-8). (Tasteful videos and scripts give glimpse into the lives of the victims in El Paso and of the victims in Dayton.)
Evangelical and governmental leaders concur that the root causes of the (recent) massacres have to do with the sickness that lies within the American soul. Southern Evangelical Seminary President Dr. Richard Land said: ‘[G]un control is too simple an answer. It is analogous to putting a Band-Aid on a severed artery.’ As he notes, these mass shootings are symptoms and eruptions telling us that there is a subterranean river of spiritual and emotional slime running underneath our society. They are problems of the heart and they are problems of the soul: ‘Fatherlessness, the failure of our inner cities, racism, identity politics … the mindless glorification of violence in our media and entertainment industry … the systematic disrespect and mocking of police officers…’ He says it’s up to Christians and the church to lead the way!’” (Rev. Pierre Bynum)
We must pray and see the Lord intervene for us.
“For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7; NIV)
A prayer you can pray:
“Lord, make your mercy and grace known to the individuals, families, and communities of El Paso and Dayton, the victims of these senseless and evil massacres. Lord, only you can give the comfort they need in this dark and difficult hour and the help they need in the days, weeks, and years ahead. Heal the wounded! Salve their spirits, minds, and souls. Draw them to yourself in this moment of desperate sorrow, confusion, and weakness. Grant them the peace only you can give. And help your people aggressively to pray, to consecrate themselves to you, and to labor to see America transformed by turning wholeheartedly to you! Draw us to yourself, who alone can save and heal our land. Guide our leaders, Lord. Do not allow opportunistic and evil politics to make use of this tragedy. Rather, grant our elected leaders repentance to understand that the hatred and anger that they display every day has had its own role in producing division and violence. Grant us repentance, O God! (Ex 32:29; 2 Kgs 21:16; 24:3-4; Is 31:4; 40:1; 64:1; Jonah 3:5; Mt 5:22; Jn 6:44; 14:16; Ro 12:1-2; 2 Cor 12:9)
“Lord, while politicians attempt to fix what they cannot fix, let the body of Christ arise to do what must be done: evangelize our communities, speak the truth in love in the public square that will correct godless ideologies that can only make things worse, seek to provide mentors for fatherless boys, and promote the virtues of marriage and intact families. (Eph 4:14-16; 2 Th 3:1-3; 1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Tim 4:1-4; 1 Peter 2:13-16)” Thank you, Jesus, for all of these things, amen.
God will answer us and heal our land, as we pray and give the Lord His proper place in our lives and culture!
Learn more about Rev. Pierre Bynum and the Family Research Council here. Reprinted in part with permission.