When confronted with a tragedy like this, even the words that do come to mind seem empty compared to the gravity and magnitude of the suffering that people are experiencing. My wife is pregnant with our fourth child and the grief involved is unfathomable. We say things like “thoughts and prayers to those affected”, but the reality is that we feel helpless. In those moments, prayer is a resource like no other, because God is not helpless.
It is a time when we cling to Romans 8:26 and know that our prayers are lifted to God by the Holy Spirit Himself on behalf of the lives that are destroyed.
“We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Romans 8:26)
We experience an intense mix of emotions from grief to anger. Righteous anger towards sinfulness in our world reflects the character of God, yet we remember that vengeance is the Lord’s (Romans 12:9), and our primary efforts are to love those who suffer with the love of Jesus Christ. That same verse says, “leave room for God’s wrath”, a startling reminder that while God is merciful, He is also just. He deals with sin in His infinite wisdom and righteousness. We know that He is still sovereign, and we know that He is love.
We find powerful guidance in how to pray in times like this in the Word of God.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:2-4)
Prayer Blog was Contributed by Drew Thorwall
Associate Pastor of Faith Church of Grayslake, IL