Pray for Paris

Many struggle to see God when faced with natural disaster or the cruelty of other human beings.  This can be especially evident in the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on November 13th claiming the lives of at least 129 and injuring at least 352 people.  Such evil and despicable acts of sin are hard to rationalize but as believers they should not come as a surprise.

In Matthew chapter 24 Jesus tells his disciples the following when discussing the days leading up until the end times:

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

So how do we as believers respond to such acts of sin?  WE RESPOND THROUGH PRAYER! We pray for comfort for the families of the victims, we pray for the military men and women responding to these attacks, we pray for the leaders of the nations, we pray that as a people we would turn back to God, and the most difficult prayer for us to make is the one where we pray for those guilty of these crimes.

2 Chronicles 7:14

[if] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land

Psalms 34:18:

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ – Psalm 34:18

Pray this prayer:

We pray for all whose lives
have been touched by tragedy,
whether by accident
or a deliberate act.
For those who mourn,
immerse them in your love
and lead them through this darkness
into your arms, and light.
For those who comfort,
be in both the words they use
and all that’s left unspoken;
fill each heart with love.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
whose own suffering brought us life,
here and for eternity. Amen

(c) John Birch