Thousand Oaks Massacre

  • Nov. 9, 2018
  • #9530

In response to the mass shooting yesterday in Thousand Oaks, California, let’s ask God to heal the deep-seeded anger that seems to be so pervasive in our society. 

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and today, like you, I’m praying.

Because sometimes there is no better response. I say this because yesterday, we all woke up to the horrifying news of yet another mass shooting in our nation. For me, however, this tragedy is closer to home than the others – the shooting took place just a couple of miles down the freeway from Joni and Friends in the town of Thousand Oaks – when I’m on the freeway, I often pass the Borderline bar and grill (where the tragedy occurred). All of us are quite shaken and reminded once again of that chilling warning in II Timothy 3:1, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.” Who can comprehend the reason this young military veteran fired into a crowd of college students?! We can’t say, but we can pray for the grieving families of those who lost their lives last night in our community. And today as we pray for them, let’s also ask God to heal the deep-seeded anger that seems to be so pervasive in our society.

But how do you pray during such a time?  Well, first, you grieve – just like God grieves, just like His heart breaks.  You mourn and lament over the devastation that sin has brought into this world.  You feel sorrow and sadness and cry out to God for mercy, for His healing and help.  And so, as I was still lying in bed when I first heard the news yesterday morning, my friends and I did just that.  And I am still praying today, and I will pray tomorrow and the next day, as I know you will, as well.  In fact, would you in your heart join me now, and together let’s go before God humbly, mournfully, and ask for His healing and help, not only on our deeply troubled nation, but for the families and loved ones.  So, let’s pray…

“God of all mercy, we are heartsick over the ruin and desolation that sin has brought upon our world, upon our nation.  Have mercy on us.  And please, have mercy on the families of those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy.  Comfort them in their grief, and show yourself to be the God of consolation that you are.  You are the healer of broken hearts, and the hearts of these families and loved ones are crushed by this senseless tragedy – draw them to your side, and show yourself to be the answer to their anguish.  And please, dear Lord, touch the lives of those who are wounded...  Quiet their anxieties and fears, and heal their wounds.  Cause them, as they lie on their beds, to seek you and turn to you with their concerns.  And please, Lord, restore them and heal them.

“Finally, Lord, you are sovereign, and you are the only one who can bring good out of this evil. In fact, you tell us in Romans not to be overcome by evil, but took overcome evil with good. And so unite Christians in prayer; help churches be genuine salt and light in their neighborhoods; aid us in putting a lid on evil with good deeds in our community.  Help us be vigilant in promoting peace, demonstrating love, and helping to change the divided climate in our homeland.  And may we praise you for your sovereignty, even over this awful tragedy.  So please turn hearts toward Jesus Christ, the only one who can save us from ourselves; the only one who can rescue us from ruin.  May this tragedy right in our backyard here at Joni and Friends – may it turn this country so that we may, indeed, be crowned in brotherhood from sea to shining sea.  In your name, Amen.”

© Joni and Friends



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