My heart is broken that events like the mass shooting at First Baptist Sutherland have become all too commonplace. When I was a child events like the Columbine Shooting were the most devastating tragedies we would experience for years. We all rallied together for months to pray and mourn the losses. That’s no longer the case.
In this past six months alone Charlottesville had a white supremacist rally. Las Vegas was crushed by a mass shooting at a concert, and two hurricanes came through our country to cause widespread devastation. Those are just the highlights.
In each one of those instances, we prayed. There was a trending hashtag. Facebook posts were shared. Articles were written very similar to this one, and we prayed. All of us.
After a day or two though, the articles slowed, prayer became an afterthought, and our lives moved on. We continued with our normal days while so many others were left to pick up the pieces. So how do we pray for and help Sutherland in a way that can make a real difference?
Don’t politicize these events yet.
Before the caskets close, the politicians, blogs and social media will ignite the age-old debate of gun control. We need more training. Take guns away. Before we start these necessary conversations can we pause?
Pray for Sutherland before you argue for or against certain gun rights. 26 lives were lost in a tragedy that we must honor as a nation, as churches, and as individuals. They deserve a moment before we share our comments, tweets, and articles.
2. Pray for Sutherland in private and public.
We are quick to jump on social media and #prayfortexas. A quick Twitter search and you will find 1,000s of people posting their prayers. It’s a beautiful space that people will freely share their prayers. I do the same thing on social media.
But let us not end our prayers with a clever tweet, Instagram pic, or Facebook post. We must pray for Sutherland in private as well as public. Pray with your kids. List up these hurting families during your morning devotions. Take every chance to pray not just online, but throughout your days.
And lest we soon forget, set a reminder in your calendar for a month from now to pray for the those still grieving from this tragedy. When that reminder goes off, pray for Sutherland again; because your life might have gone back to normal, but they are still hurting.
3. Grieve for the lives lost.
What happened at Sutherland should devastate us all. Those were our fellow Americans, and our brothers and sisters in Christ. We lost family members yesterday, and it should hurt.
Don’t gloss over the pain caused by these events. That’s unhealthy. Rather bring your hurt and grief to the arms of your Savior. He is not unfamiliar with hurt. We see in John 17 Jesus praying out of grief. Our High Priest sympathizes with our pain.
Pray to Him, and draw near to him. This is the time we must ask for God to use these tragedies somehow for His glory and the good of other people. We don’t know how, but we know he can and will work all things for good.
Take a moment and comment your prayer for Sutherland below.