We have heard the term “prayer” used over and over again during the past week.
There are many of you, both Christian and non-Christian, who are struggling with the occurrences at the Portland Mall, Sandy Hook Elementary, Barlesville, OK, or the hospital shooting in Birmingham, AL.
Let me offer some guidance as you seek solace, answers and assurance from an all loving Heavenly Father.
First of all, I don’t claim to have all (or maybe any) of the answers to any of OUR questions.
Focusing my prayers there are some foundational pillars I fall back on. One of them is found in Hebrews:
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV84)
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
As you enter into your prayers I urge you to make the determination that you are indeed seeking God in faith, even if you are angry and blame Him for what has occurred.
Pillar #2 The Lord’s Prayer teaches us how to enter in to prayer.
As you enter into prayer I highly recommend, not the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, but focusing on it as the model it was given to be (more on this here). This prayer is a gift to us that allows us to learn more and more about the relationship of man and God in meditative prayer.
Pillar #3 God’s love is as fearsome as his wrath.
Romans 8:31–38 (NIV84)
31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
None of this post is supposed to be an easy answer for the suffering and the evil that we see around us. However, it is a solid foundation for those who seek the solace of the perfect Father who has released the gift of Holy Spirit to console, comfort and guide those who seek Him to find Him.
Christ is our peace (Ephesians 2:14–16). If we enter in to “prayer” seeking solace without seeking Jesus we are missing the channel and means that God has given us to find Him, which in turn leads us to the comfort we could not have previously imagined. Don’t mistake a religious act for what it actually means to seek God.