In the Aftermath of Tragedy, Prayer Remains First and Most Powerful Response

Shock, sadness, and anger… gut-level horror, disbelief, and rage. Reactions to violent mass shootings, most recently in Texas and Ohio, begin with shock and horror, but inevitably find their way over to anger. Anger for the senseless loss of life, the cruel act of murder, the inability to prevent it, and the seemingly spared shooter. Anger that demands revenge, justice, and a full stop to any future possibility of this happening again.

Yet, despite all the feelings we wrestle with, a longing to call out to God often finds its way in; whether shouted in anger and desperation or pushed out between tears and guttural cries. We are made to connect with He who created us. We are hardwired to call out in the worst of times. Even many who profess themselves agnostic – or even atheist – have found themselves calling out to the Being which they spent years or decades denying even existed.

These longings, callings, and reachings can all fall under the umbrella of prayer. Prayer is us talking to God – in whatever voice, volume, tone, or emotion we use. When tragedy happens, prayer is still our first and most powerful response. It stands alone.

A response to tragedy that does not depend on outcomes; that is prayer. It soothes and comforts where revenge and justice fail. It draws us together, shares our pain and sorrow, and gives us permission to lay down our burdens. It gives us reason to cling to one another as we trudge through despair. And it also shows us that we are weak and frail and unable to understand the mind of God.

Prayer gives us strength to carry on, even if it’s just one moment at a time. It allows us to, like little children, crawl into the lap of our Father God and indulge in His embrace and love for us. It is our invitation to speak freely to the Almighty. Although it does not change what happened, it changes us and the way we sustain ourselves through the pain.

Regardless of what happens in this fallen world, prayer is infinitely available, vulnerably close, and powerfully useful to all of us who believe. Hold on to your gift of prayer and never be deceived enough to believe anything is more powerful in the hands of man.

#prayer             #lawsDontStopTheUnlawful

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