I’ve lived here for about 13-years. The US is different. At first I thought it was easy to fix the gun violence. But I’ve come to see it’s not so straight forward. In part, because having weapons are in the constitution. Also in part because of the way the country is laid out, how it’s governed, its violent history, what the borders are (another country versus say ocean) . Finally, because gun violence in schools was never addressed properly from the get-go. It’s always been a matter of people jerking their knees, riling up the masses and essentially nothing gets done except responsible people with firearms are expected to feel guilty for something they didn’t cause!
Each side (political party) blows hot air. The proverbial “thoughts and prayers” are mentioned. That line is so cliché, I wonder if anyone who actually says or writes “thoughts and prayers” actually prays about the situation. Do they actually talks to God from a heartfelt level? Because I’m pretty sure a lot of it’s just lip-service. How do I know? Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits.” (Matt 7:16) There’s no good fruit coming from this style of politicking!
The latest massacre to add to the unholy list of school shootings hits a little closer to this parent of an elementary school-aged child, although I do live a ways from Uvalde, Texas.
Already, I see the premeditation through what little about the gunman was shared with the media. And I pray (not in the posturing kind of thoughts and prayers kind of way either). This could have been anywhere. It could have been any school and it could have been 21 other individuals (children and adults). Many families can’t survive a tragedy like this. Many couples find their marriages fail. Many surviving child often end up living in the shadow of their siblings’ death. Many people blame themselves. Many jobs are lost. Many addictions are started.
Let’s not forget the adults who were gunned down. As of writing, I’m aware of at least one teacher who was killed. She had four children of her own. They lost their brave mother. All of these people (the families) need my prayers and your prayers.
What can you pray for?
That the Holy Spirit will bring them a supernatural sense of peace, despite the chaos they’re in. That He will supernaturally suspend them above the chaos. Give them clarity. Give them time to grieve. Ensure their financial needs are met so they don’t have pressure while they grieve. Ensure that they have physical emotional support and that the Holy Spirit, Himself, will offer comfort and strength as each of the affected individuals face the coming days and months without their loved ones.
There were other children at this school. Other adults too. Any one of these individuals could have been a target. They also need prayer. This is absolutely devastating. They were due to go on Summer vacation. This was supposed to be the start of a good time. That innocence was stolen from each of them. Now many will live in fear of an active shooter for the rest of their lives.
Often times people STOP praying when really bad things happen. They get to blaming God. God didn’t cause this. We have free will and that 18-year-old individual who was shot dead chose freely to do what he did. Some have labeled it evil. I won’t disagree. But God can use bad situations for His good. Not because He wants a bad situation to occur, but often times people find God when they’re at their lowest point. Unfortunately, often people walk away from God at their lowest point too. This can be a true test of faith, so these people need our prayers that they cry out to God, (even if they are angry….it’s best to keep talking to Him through thick and thin). And if you’re feeling stuck, but want to pray and don’t know what to say, here’s something super simple:
You know about the school shooting in Uvalde. Please help the people that are hurting and find a way to use this terrible tragedy for your Kingdom and Your will and to make sense out this avoidable attack.
In Jesus’ name,
Regardless of how you prayed, if you felt called to pray, do not think God puts your prayers on a shelf to admire them. God does act, but He does prefer you go to Him at all times. Not just when the situation seems beyond the scope of being affected by anything in the physical realm. God is real. God is practical. And prayers DO work. So keep praying, in all situations. Even when nothing (bad) is happening….it’s relationship building! For right now, we pray because some of the affected have lost the ability to pray for themselves. This is where their spiritual brothers and sisters step up and speak on behalf and petition for their help.
May God keep you close and help strengthen your faith as you pray for others.