My heart twisted when I heard the news on Sunday—another mass shooting.

A 19-year-old man opened fire at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California, killing three people and wounding 12 others. To compound the tragedy, two of the victims were a six-year-old boy and a thirteen-year-old girl.

In 2019 alone, there have been 248 mass shootings in the U.S., according to data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.

This data is beyond disconcerting. It’s terrifying.

How do we respond?

Well, to start, we need to pray.

Of course, we want answers and comfort. We also want justice. It’s tempting to think that we need to do more than just pray. And we do. But true wisdom and comfort come from God.

So, it only makes sense, when things don’t make sense, to begin with prayer.

Prayer is more than a hashtag or sweet little sentiment. Prayer is vital. Prayer is powerful. And in the current state of our country—prayer is imperative.

Jesus assures us in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Well, we need Jesus in our midst now more than ever. Will you join me in prayer?

Heavenly Father, we praise and adore You for Your great love and mercy. You are truth, goodness, and light. You are the source of all good things. In Your boundless love and grace, please hear our prayer.

We are brokenhearted and anxious over the recent tragedy in Gilroy. We mourn with those who lost a friend or a loved one. It’s hard to imagine the level of grief they are experiencing. Only You can measure their pain. And only You can bring true solace.

Father, mend shattered families with your comfort. Help grieving mothers, fathers, children, husbands, wives, and friends. Cover them with the peace that surpasses all understanding as it says in Philippians 4:7.

We thank you for those who survived this tragedy. We pray against post-traumatic stress reactions to gunfire.

Lord, this country needs You. Where do we go from here? You are our hope and true source of wisdom.

We look to the Resurrection of Your Son, Jesus as a sure sign that death does not defeat us – that death is not the end. Instead, we pray that all will come to know the depths of Your love and mercy given through Jesus in whose mighty name we pray, AMEN.

 

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