With 49 innocents murdered and 53 wounded in gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the United States has once more been bloodied by the depravity of Islamic Terrorism. I could pander to you about solidarity in the wake of tragedy and unity in the face of evil, but admittedly, these are hollow words as pundits debate gun control, LGBT rights, and the threat of terrorism.
While each of those political issues have pressing implications, the singular cause of all the bloodstains is the heart of man—something that only the grace of God and sanctification through the Holy Spirit can cure. The shooter, Mr. Omar Mateen has caused the kind of grief in the victims’ families, friends, and acquaintances that can only find healing in the blood of Jesus Christ.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? -Jeremiah 17:9
As Christians, we are on the frontline of a spiritual war and must respond as such. Dedicated prayer is the tool of choice, and prolonged prayer at that. Here are the groups we need to pray for continually over the course of the next few weeks.
Pray for the Families & Friends of the Departed
Obviously, the type of trauma associated with acts of terror like the Orlando shooting can only be cured by God’s love. Ministry teams from organizations like the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association are already on the ground in Orlando, providing grief counseling and the message of hope contained in the Gospel.
For the rest of us, we can pray that the Holy Spirit will move mightily amongst those affected and in the surrounding communities. God works in tragedies if his people are willing to seek his goodness amidst not-so-good situations. Churches should be prepared to receive newcomers searching for meaning amidst such heavy rage, confusion, and sorrow.
Pray for the LGBT Community
It’s pretty obvious that LGBT community is hurting right now. The very thing that means the most to them—their sexual identity—has made them a target of opportunity. The prayer for Christians right now must be that God will work wonders within their community, and draw them near to His holy sanctification. The only identity that can bring us the ultimate hope is one rooted in the salvation of Jesus Christ.
Pray for Future Terrorist Attackers
This may sound confusing to some. Why would we pray for future terrorists? Spiritual warfare is not simply a trendy rallying point, folks. It is happening every day, and there are moments when the body needs to come out in strength in spiritual warfare.
So, what is there to pray for? We can pray that when another Islamic terrorist or sleeper cell sets its mind to carrying out destruction, God will send a spirit of confusion upon the would-be terrorist so that he cannot carry out his nefarious plans for bloodshed. We can pray that God reveals Himself in dreams and visions to potential terrorists, and instead of killing in the name of Islam, they would evangelize in the name of Christ.
Think I’m going kooky? Read 2 Kings 6 and 7, and tell me that there isn’t another dimension of warfare. Also, we can pray for wisdom for our police and law enforcement agencies so that they can foil plots before they get off the ground.
Pray for Police and Military Personnel
These are the targets that Islamic jihadists desire to vanquish the most, because these bold men and women are the lines of defense for our nation. May God give them strength and wisdom to fight the forces of evil in the natural realms.
Pray for Muslims
As Christians, we must pray for a hedge of protection surrounding Muslim communities. Also, pray that no retaliatory attacks are carried out against Muslims, because they are created in the image of God just as we are. Ultimately, my prayer is that Muslims will turn to Christ in droves and leave a religion whose sharia law calls for the killing of homosexuals, infidels, and other undesirables.
Pray for Our Government Officials
We can pray that our national leaders will discover a backbone and confront the evil of Islamic terrorism. As a young man whose grandfather answered the call to fight in World War II, I am appalled that I live under an administration that cowers in the face of evil.
Most of us have family members who served in capacity during World War II, whether it was storming the beaches of Normandy or wading onto the shores of Iwo Jima. That generation responded when the depravity of the Nazi and Imperial Japanese regimes began wreaking havoc at home and abroad. Our current Commander-in-Chief cannot even utter the words Islamic Terrorism much less take measures against it.
This is what happens when we divorce ourselves from God: we then divorce ourselves from reality and suffer the same consequences repeatedly. That’s why everyone is fixated on gun control right now. We are in such a trance, that we have forgotten the jihadists call to duty that produces the triggermen. These events are clear signs that we need to pray for revival, because our nation desperately requires it.
The ominous undertone in much of secular society is that prayer has become a cliché akin to candlelight vigils and fanciful well wishes. Christians, don’t be intimidated by such talk. How can prayer be a cliché when no one ever follows the advice in the first place? Prayer is a two-way line of communication, and thus, God does not remain silent. He will speak Hill to our nation. The root of the problem is, secularists want God to be silent, because they don’t want to listen to his commands. So keep praying and keep listening.
Finally, we must remain involved in the political and social debates as well. All too many have fallen under the spell of the lie that Christians should stay out of public matters. God’s truth reigns in all corners of society, and it’s a ripe time for Christians to engage in turn. Pray for future political leaders, businessmen, military brass, scientists, etc. who will follow the wisdom of the Scriptures, for our nation’s lifeblood depends upon it.
Kevin Cochrane is a nineteen year old writer with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with exposed ears to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. Want to read more? Check him out at themajestysmen.com/author/kevincochrane, a friendship and mentoring community for Christian males. For updates on his latest blog posts here at restandrefuge.wordpress.com, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email.