I must admit that I’ve spent a lot of time this week staring at a blank computer screen. I’ve been trying to come up with some sort of response to the horrific tragedy that took place at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs only a few days ago. Hearing the stories of what happened to that precious church family has left me shaken, and I have felt wholly inadequate in knowing what to say or write to make any sense out of this senseless violence.
One of things I’ve learned over the years of being a pastor and standing beside people during life-shattering moments is that sometimes you don’t need to say anything at all. However, in those moments when the right words just won’t come, we must lean in on the gift that is prayer. When I pray, I don’t have to worry about being elegant or act as though I have every answer. Prayer allows me to take a burden that I don’t know how to carry and place it before the “Alpha and Omega,” the “Great I Am,” the “King of Kings,” and the “God of all comfort.”
Therefore, this week’s post is going to be a little different than usual. Instead of trying to console and encourage with words of wisdom that I do not have, I’m going to ask you to pray with me. If you feel so led, you might write out your prayer in the comment section below or on Facebook. In the days ahead, we’ll try navigate some of these turbulent waters together, but for now, let’s simply take our broken hearts before God and trust Him for the healing.
Allow me to get things started.
Precious Father – I come to You from a place of terrible grief and at a moment of great need. I can’t begin to imagine what the friends and family of the victims must be feeling right now. I didn’t know any of those who were injured or killed, yet I feel an extreme weight of sadness as though I did. How are we to make sense of something like this, knowing that such evil lurks around us? My heart want to scream, “How can this possibly be used for good?” but by faith I choose to believe that You are good, even in this. The enemy is trying to sow seeds of fear in the lives of many believers right now and to steal the joy of Your church, but I rebuke that attack by the name of Jesus Christ. God, I don’t need to ask You to be the Healer and Comforter for the broken and hurting, for You are already so. However, I do humbly ask that if You desire to use me as Your voice, Your hands and feet, or Your method of blessing to those in need, please show me what You would have me do. Father, I pray that in this moment when the eyes of the world are looking at Sutherland Springs, Texas, that Your glory, goodness, mercy, and power are evident for all to see. I pray that this small town would serve as a light to the world during this dark time. I pray for miraculous healings, both physical and spiritual, to take place in the days ahead. God, help me release any anger or fear that might be residing in my heart. Don’t let me, or any of Your children, shy away from ministering to a lost and fallen world for fear of what might come our way. I praise Your great name for the joy of secure salvation and the strength You provide in weakness. Even though I don’t understand why You would allow these tragic things to happen, I reaffirm my trust in You and will wait with expectation for the awesome things only You can do in the midst of this kind of pain. Thank you for being God, for reminding me that I am not, and for loving me even when I try to be.