Prayers in Tragedy

Courtesy of Jordan Whitfield

Courtesy of Jordan Whitfield

For you have been a stronghold to the poor,
a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,
like heat in a dry place.
You subdue the noise of the foreigners;
as heat by the shade of a cloud,
so the song of the ruthless is put down.
— Isaiah 25:4-5 (ESV)

Over the last several months, we have seen tragedy after tragedy. But perhaps none more gripping than what flooded our timelines and news feeds early Sunday morning June 12th. Most headlines read: 'Massacre" or 'Highest Number of Dead in Orlando.' 

As a church community, we spent that morning reading Isaiah 25:4-5 and praying for the victims, families, our country and and our witness. Here are some ways we prayed that could help guide your prayers in the face of these kinds of tragedies:

God, now more than ever, would you help the families of the victims believe that your presence is a refuge in this moment of anger, confusion, hurt and abandonment?
God, now more than ever, would you offer comfort and refreshment to the families that feel as though they've been swept into emotional and mental chaos by the tragedy.
God, now more than ever, forgive us as Christians for thinking that 'shade from the heat' and 'shelter from the storm' are ways of loving that you've exclusively reserved for us.
God, now more than ever, would you forgive us for making agreement with the LGBTQ community an prerequisite to loving the LGBTQ community and being advocates for them in the ways that we should.
God, now more than ever, grant us the wisdom to listen closely, serve genuinely, and love deeply.
God, now more than ever, we praise you because in the end evil does not win, but rather you have prevailed.  "As the heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is stilled."