If there’s one thing I know for sure right now, it’s that the world wasn’t meant to be like this.
Nice, France. Orlando. Dallas. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. These names, and too many others like them, are my nation’s newest synonyms for tragedy. For the friends and family of those who have died, they represent moments of agony that can never be unwritten. For those whose race or sexuality or occupation has given them reason to fear the same kind of violence, they are threats, reminders that catastrophe is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
Even for me, though these names are little more than headlines to weep over and shake my fist at, they still leave me reeling. They make me wonder how much longer the world as I know it can possibly survive. They make me wonder what I can do, how I should respond, if I too am complicit in this violence.
But you, God, know these names better than all of us. They’re not just names to you. You’ve studied every detail of every life damaged or lost in these tragedies. You’ve numbered the hairs on every head, gathered every tear. The people I’ve only ever known as victims, you’ve known all along as reflections of your own image.
You know far better than I that the world wasn’t made for hatred and pain. You’re the one who knew our human race from the very beginning, the one who breathed life into our dust and called us very good. You know just how beautiful we were intended to be.
So if my heart is breaking right now, surely your heart must be breaking too.
I pray to you not as someone distant and aloof, but as someone near to me, near to us, even in the midst of chaos. I don’t have to shout to get your attention. You are close enough to hear my broken whispers. No matter how strong or weak I feel, no matter how much or how little
I can muster, I’ll start by whispering this:
Give us peace.
You are the sovereign ruler, the mover of mountains, the victor of impossible victories. You are Lord over earthquakes and tsunamis, over nations in turmoil and terrorist plots, over starving children and fleeing refugees and prisoners tortured for their faith. You speckled the sky with stars and set the earth spinning like a top. You own everything, control everything. Your hand allows each mind to think and teaches each heart to beat. There is nothing you can’t do. So I pray, even though it seems impossible:
Give us peace.
Bring an end to violence and hatred and discord. Steady the feet that rush into war and the finger poised on the trigger. Bring justice to the downtrodden, restoration to the marginalized and abused, hope to the hopeless. Guide all those in positions of power—whether that power is political or physical or social—and give them wisdom to use their power wisely. Give them, and all of us, the grace to admit when we are wrong and to seek forgiveness. Give us the grace to forgive.
Help us see your face in the faces of the people around us. Give us courage to love one another even when love seems like a risk. Give us compassion for those who are unlike us. Teach us to listen to those we disagree with, to hear stories that make us uncomfortable. Heal the hatred in the world around us by healing our own hearts first.
Give us peace by making us agents of peace.
Even now, in the midst of the darkness, I believe you are at work. I believe you have the power to fashion something new and beautiful out of our disastrous ruins. Give me patience as you work. Don’t let me rush so quickly into peace that I fail to learn from the chaos. If you’re revealing ugliness in my nation and world so that I can begin to address it and transform it, don’t let me be content to simply sweep it under the carpet. I want more than a temporary cease-fire of my own making. I want true peace, lasting peace.
If tragedy and chaos persist, keep me from apathy. Give me a heart that loves deeply enough to break again and again. Give me a passion for peace that only burns brighter as time goes by.
Thank you that your love has never stopped blazing. Thank you that no matter how many times our human race falls, you have never fallen into apathy. When we are faithless, you remain faithful.
One day, I know, you’ll give us a perfect peace that lasts forever. One day every sorrow will be erased and every tear wiped away. One day pain will be locked in a heavenly museum and hatred will be the stuff of history books.
But I dare to ask for peace sooner than that. I dare to believe, along with King David in
“I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
I dare to plead with you in the name of Jesus, in the name of the one who suffered so I could plead with you:
Give us peace.
Gregory Coles is an author and an English instructor at Penn State University. Learn more at www.gregcoles.com.
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As I look around at the world today my heart is saddened. All I seem to hear about are killings, protests, terrorist attacks, and hate. The world is in chaos and its people are left helpless in the rubble. As I watch attack after attack unfold I’m left more and more desperate. Desperate to make a change, to help those in need. And as I eat dinner with my family and go to sleep sheltered under a sturdy house I’m left empty. I, whose life is better than 95% of those on this earth, feel infirm. I’m frantically reaching for a firm ground, a stronghold to help end the decay around me. This world is no longer safe so I turn to the only one I know will hear my pleas, my prayers. In these trying times, the only thing we can do is pray to the one who can heal our hearts and fix our lands. James 5:16 states, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” Pray with me, brothers and sisters, for there is no greater time than now.
Heavenly Father, whose grace and forgiveness washes over us all, be with us now. Your world is filled with senseless violence and careless deaths. Father I pray that Your righteous right hand will comfort those effected by the recent tragedies and provide a stronghold for those whose faith is shaken. Lord lift up the spirits of the fallen and lay Your peace upon those they leave behind. Let Your light shine into the darkest of places that there be no darkness left.
Lord use me to help Your people. Let my life be a message of Your amazing power and presence. Father I stay close to You, guide me and let me do Your will. I pray that people see You and Your love through me and that I can touch the hearts of those around me. I want to be Your hands and feet.
Father You have made every person on this earth and breathed life into them. Let us see through Your eyes now and not our own. This world is full of fear and hate, but I pray to You now that we, as Your people, can learn to see through Your eyes. I pray that we can learn to love one another and not hate. I pray that compassion and understanding flood our hearts and homes. Father You are the only one who can fix what we have undone. Be with us now. Come closer than You ever have come before. Help us to lay down our stones and turn our hearts to Your son, Jesus Christ, our savior.
Father these are trying times. Your people are divided. Your nations are at war. Lord I submit to You now. I crave nothing but Your peace and comfort. I humbly pray that You will heal our lands and our hearts. You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Hear me now.
Lord I ask that You would forgive us of our sins, both known and unknown, and wash us once again in Your unfailing grace. Father I thank You for all that You have done for me and my family and I ask that You would continue to watch over the people of this world.
Father come quickly, we need You now more than ever.
I pray all of this in Your son Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.
The only way our world can begin to heal is by the power of prayer. There is no limit and God hears you every time. Take the time to talk to Him because He will listen. Though times are hard, our God is stronger. It’s time for us as a people to return to the one who died to save our souls. Our world is damaged, pray with me to help fix it.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We come to you and thank you for all of creation. We thank you from taking energy that was no larger than a mustard seed and creating this ever expanding, beautiful and amazing universe for us to live.
We thank you for the Earth, and all its beauty and majesty, and thank you for providing us with the air to breathe, water to drink and food to eat that nourishes us each day.
We thank you for all of your creatures you created and allowed Adam to name and we thank you for the creation of Humankind from the dusts of the universe and the dusts of the earth. We thank you for sending your Son Jesus who died for our sins, so though him we may be forgiven and enter into the New Heaven and be on the New Earth. We thank you for our lives, and we pray that each day we find some small way to honor you.
Lord God, we acknowledge that we have problems and issues here in this time, and this season of your creation. We know that there are evil men present on the Earth, who seek to destroy your creation- all your natural beauties, the air, water, and foods you’ve provided. Lord we know our political systems are in disarray, and we are turning on one another in anger and hate instead of turning to you to seek your guidance, wisdom and love.
Dear Lord, we believe in our hearts that you have the ways and means to change the minds, thoughts and hearts of those in power, and those to make the decisions that affect our very lives. That’s why father in YOUR mighty name God- Creator of the Universe and All that is, was, and ever will be…and in the name of our savior Jesus Christ and the mystery name of Your Holy Spirit, Lord we believe right now that your righteous anger will be poured like a burning oil of a lamp of Heaven on the Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses, Dukes, Lords, Ladies, Presidents, Vice Presidents, Dictators, Prime ministers, Heads of State, Warlords, Chairmen, Senators and Legislators, Heads of Business with dark influence over those, and anyone in a position of power who tries to harm humanity and destroy your creation. Let those doing evil burn in your word and seek you and the relief your redemption. Lord We as a family of Christ and your creation call out to you for the righteous conviction and righteous correction in all of their personal lives, secret dealings, and political decisions.
Lord, we as a nation, as a people, as the Human Race rebuke Lucifer and his army of fallen angels and demons. We take spiritual authority over our lives, our families lives and we claim spiritual authority through the blood of Jesus over our homes, neighborhoods, cities, states and Countries… and we ask that the chains of the Holy Spirit wrap around those devils and Satan’s trying to influence those humans that be in power.
We ask that the Armies of the Lord take those that do evil in bondage and we believe now that those mighty warrior angels are right now casting those Fallen Angels, Demons and Principalities and Powers into the fiery pit of Hell, to be destroyed before all of creation.
Lord we call on you to send your Armies, to wage the secret war from the eyes of us Humans, to battle Lucifer and his armies back, so that we may have a regrowth worldwide, a new chance a slowdown in the plans, extended time for the redemption of the world before the times of the bible prophecy of Revelations. Allow us to find a way to love one another, not just here, but in every country of the world and love one another in Your name Holy God. We pray that this be in Your Will and Your plans for the world. Allow us as Christians more time to come to know you deeper, and allow us the opportunities to have the strength and courage to spread Your works, Your word, and Your love.
Please heal this beautiful planet you gave us to be stewards of. Please help us to do what is right for the environment- not as politicians and scientists tell us what is and what isn’t to be done.. Let us sense your Holy Spirit in our hearts and be given your supernatural wisdom of the workings of this planet to share with our friends, family, communities and world. Again Lord, cause those people who are doing harm to the planet- Your creation- to have the righteous conviction and correction of the Holy Spirit.
We thank you Lord for allowing this prayer prayed by so many to be laid at your feet as a petition of prayer for the World, and we believe that the Lord Jesus has picked up this prayer, read it and the angels of Heaven are singing praises to you Lord God for your mercy and kindness, and that we believe your mighty stamp of approval of this prayer has been placed on it and handed off to the Holy Spirit to do its work in the world on our behalf- again, in accordance of you Will for us, and the world.
We praise your Holy Name Dear God, in your name we pray, Jesus our savior and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
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