“The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just.” – Proverbs 21:7
Father, it is Monday morning and our hearts are grieved already before the sun comes up. The weight of yesterday’s violence is heavy upon us. They were there in that church praying, singing, learning and growing. The evil man entered and killed so many of them. The sanctity of worship was devastated and replaced in a second with terror, pain and death. The thief came in, and he stole, killed and destroyed. In the bloody aftermath, there was carnage on a day when there had been, just a short time before, warmth, laughter, love and faith. This all occurred in the house of worship where You are worshiped, loved, adored and glorified. The wicked man came in to perpetrate his warped view of victory and power and, in the end, ushered himself into an inescapable defeat and eternal prison. We need you, Abba, to help us to know what to pray today.
Jesus, it is a glorious comfort to me today to understand that many, if not all, of those who died under the madman’s hail of bullets entered paradise and have already met You. The very reason that they had gathered in that church house, namely, to experience Your presence, instantly became their all-encompassing reality as their lives were taken from them. Yet, the life that You placed in them when they confessed You as their Lord was not extinguished. Their deaths were merely a doorway into a fulness of life that we cannot quite fathom. Though I am sickened and saddened by what has taken place, I have such a strong pulse of gratitude for Your immeasurable gift to those who are now with You. I am reminded what You once said Martha, who was grieving the death of her loved one. You said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Thank you, Son of God, for providing a destination of paradise for those who died in You yesterday. Yours is an unspeakable gift to us.
Holy Spirit, today we need Your deep work in us. Satan would like to enlarge the impact of what his demonized servant accomplished yesterday. Holy Spirit, please keep us centered and grounded in whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, whatever is excellent and worthy of praise – keep us eager to think about these things. Heaven did not weaken yesterday. The goodness of the Father did not dim in the least measure. Tragedy did not eclipse glory, for the evil man served as the one who ultimately held the door for those who passed into paradise yesterday. Holy Spirit, help us to have the heart of Jesus who actually loved the young murderer who entered his perpetual torment yesterday. There is no satisfying pleasure in the death of the wicked. Help us to hold our tongues except to call on You for joy, to share the Gospel of Jesus with a renewed vigor, and to pray to the Father of lights for a greater gift of wisdom to find us. We need You, Spirit of God, to comfort us, walk with us, and to teach us how to press in for further measures of Your beloved presence and power. This is a very sad day, and I am glad that You have not left us as orphans to cope.
Thank You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit for hearing our cry today. We love You.