las vegas | prayers in the aftermath

My heart is broken and I am sickened. Another horrific act of senseless violence.

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I’m shocked.

And yet, I’m not. Because this just keeps happening, doesn’t it? Our world seems to be growing more volatile by the day.

And with each act of violence, it seems our capacity for distrust, anger, and fear only grows.

It didn’t take long for us to shift the conversation to gun control. (Why wouldn’t we? A regular person owning an automatic weapon? It makes no sense to me.) And you know that if the shooter were an Islamic extremist, we’d also be having conversations about border walls and travel bans.

But here’s the thing. If we devote all our attention to these political topics, I believe we’ll end up missing the bigger picture.

Don’t get me wrong. I have political views on this. I have opinions about the president. And I believe we all have a duty to be politically active. But I always come back to the fact that, regardless of the laws we’re under and who’s in the White House, human nature does not change. 

Yes, laws and leadership can offer protection.  But my hope will never be found in these. My hope will never be found in this world, because it is a broken one, filled with broken people.

So I pray.

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Of course, I pray for Las Vegas. I pray for healing. For peace and comfort. I pray that all the helpers and leaders would have abundant wisdom and clarity in bringing the city back to its feet. I pray that beauty could somehow come from this horrific event.

But I also pray for Christians in our nation. I pray for clarity and perspective during these tumultuous times.

Because I believe many of us have been getting it wrong lately.

Instead of fighting angrily for or against political causes, God’s people should SHINE in this darkness.

We should demonstrate the impossible peace that can only be found in a God who is above our worldly circumstances. A God who loves us.

Instead of wasting our efforts battling in the political arena, we should be pouring them into loving one another. After all, isn’t this our greatest command?

Help Las Vegas: By this all will know that you are my disciples. John 13:35

We should remember that our God is bigger. And let it be evident in the way we behave.

Help Las Vegas: In this world you will have trouble. John 16:33

And, if we can, we should do more than just send our “thoughts and prayers” out to the victims.

We should be on the front lines. Helping. Giving.

Help Las Vegas: Faith expresses itself in works. John 2:21-24

In the aftermath of this horrific event, here is my prayer for you:

If you’re Christian ~ that you would find your peace, purpose, and victory in Jesus. Not politics. And if you sense fear or distrust creeping in, that you would remember Who is in control, instead of lashing out politically.

If you’re not ~ that the Christians around you would be sources of love and hope; not hate. And that when you encounter one of us, you could maybe get a glimpse of who Jesus is, instead of who we are.

Amen.

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How to Help Las Vegas

There are countless ways to help the people of Las Vegas — especially if you’re in the area. Prayer is powerful, and random acts of kindness can bring much-needed comfort. I’ve listed a few more below.

Know of other ways to help?  Share them with us in the comments below.

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