Absolute carnage – we see it on the television screens almost daily. Blood shed at the hands of evil-filled humans, who methodically plot to kill, destroy lives and wreck the hearts of families in a million pieces.
Flashing body tolls on the news tickers – shake our cores. With every new body count our souls grow heavy like a kettle ball. We think of the scene of terror – the thumping palpitations of the hearts exposed to such wicked acts.
What fuels such anger and malice? What motivates the hearts of man to carry out such violent deeds? Has the serpent ravaged this world to the point of no return?
We, as Christians, pray fervently: LORD, let your light shine in the darkness. May your love transform this wild hate!
Yet, the terror seems to intensify – and we find ourselves like King David crying out (like in the Psalms) in deep, dark desperation.
How long, LORD, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant? (Psalm 94:3)
Faced with death tolls rising – it’s easy to lose heart. I find myself asking questions, feeling defeated and utterly broken when it appears that evil is prevailing. Lives – young and old – lost at the hands of hate are such a tragedy.
I cry to the LORD, “didn’t you tell us that you overcame the world?” and I tend to forget the portion of the scripture that tells us – “in this world you will have tribulation.”
He has told us – no, assured us – there will be dark days.
When reflecting on so many terrorist attacks across the nation (most recently in Barcelona, Spain) the words of Jesus instructing us to “love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you” flashes across my mind. (Matthew 5)
To be honest – this verse stings my heart as I think: Have I adequately been on my knees crying out for those that seek such destruction? Why let my heart feel defeated when I have not spent time in my war room claiming the lives, controlled by the evil one, for Christ!
Instead of feeling lost in such heartbreak and mayhem, as a Christian, I need to do what Christ has called all believers to do – pray for those who persecute you and persecute others.
Honestly, this is a tall order. Yet, as John Piper so eloquently wrote,
“A heart that does not aim at its enemy’s eternal joy is not the full-orbed love that Jesus demands.”
If you feel compelled to – please join with me in praying for those that seek carnage:
You are the redeemer of souls. You can turn a heart of stone into a pumping, soft vessel. Today, I pray for my enemies, the ones that would seek my destruction simply for loving you and the sacrifice you made for us. Speak to their hearts, LORD. Show them your true glory! You liberate those who are captive to sin and under control of the evil one. So, I pray today loose the chains of those harboring ill will toward anyone who stands contrary to their outlook on life. Hold their hearts in your nailed-scared hands. Reveal to them the love you displayed on the cross and the true joy that can be found in you! Wherever in the world they may be – appear to them in dreams, visions through the actions of others – so that they may know the true way in which to walk!
In Jesus’ Name – Amen.