Seeing the news of yet another school shooting it is sadly clear that we are a long way from God’s plan for our lives. Some of us are overwhelmed with sadness, some are understandably angry and a few simply move on with a fatalistic shrug. But what should we do? How does God intend for us to face hatred? Jesus never says to hide from evil, or pretend it isn’t a reality. Instead He gives us a bold and revolutionary command.
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Matthew 5:44 ESV
How in the world should we be expected to pray for these kinds of people? But, crazy as it sounds, in the midst of tragedy, there is nothing better than prayer. Prayer reaches the heart of God and brings His comfort down. Prayer helps us to remember that just as Jesus slept in the storm, God, with all of His resources is still with us in the center of chaos. Though all of our enemies may not be changed by our prayers for forgiveness, there will always be a Paul for every Steven and a centurion at the foot of every cross who will be touched. We need to remember in the midst or our indignation and sorrow that when we far from God and enemies of the faith, Christ died for us. What reason can we give to refuse His grace to others. I end today’s post with a song I wrote a few years back and recorded with a couple of the young people from our church. I pray that the words may bring comfort and hope to your hearts as you walk with the Lord Jesus through this dark time. He gives us hope and the ability to love others even in this valley and gives us the assurance that our Father’s home awaits us where we will live with Him forever!
15 thoughts on “Loving in an Age of Hate”
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” This is the key to stopping school shootings and other evils in our society. It would also be helpful for groups to be responsible to pray for every one of our schools and our police etc. When we repent and pray, a healing from God will come.
I like your idea of praying specifically for one of pur schools. I do want to stay focused on the concept of praying for our enemies. That command is uniquely a New Testament concept. As Chesterton once said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” We evangelicals have much to learn on this from our Amish brothers and sisters.
Yes! There is nothing like prayer and love to change people and atmospheres.
Amen! I pray daily for the schools and orphanages that minister to kids in Jesus’ name, that God would root out every person the enemy sends to infiltrate and bring harm and corruption to the children. I pray He takes those people far away from them, and that the children would be surrounded only by godly examples and loving adults.
Wonderful! One prayer can stop a bullet, root out evil in schools, and change lives for Christ! Blessings!
Beautiful video, Pete! – Remind me where you are?
Oh thank you. We have lived in Florida since I retired.
Oh yeah, I think I knew that. We have been going to Sanibel Island regularly for decades, but not this year. 😦
Is it still a mess from my birthday hurricane? We have never been that far down the peninsula.
Well, I’m not sure. A couple in our home group has property on Sanibel, and after they had taken a trip down there, I asked them how it was doing? The husband said “It’s coming along well!” but his wife said, simultaneously, “Terrible!” I guess it’s not nearly the paradise it was, and won’t be for a long time. But the island has been cleared of all the rubbish and debris, and in various places rebuilding has begun. Insurance has been a hassle for them. Apparently their resort got $1 million, which should have been $7 million. Not sure how that happened…
Good song and video Pete. It is a good thin to use all your gifts and keep focused in ministry.
Amen. “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint…Luke 18:1
A beautiful song Pastor Pete! Thank you for the reminder that tragedies like this need to incite in us not anger but a desire to pray for the enemy.
A beautiful song, Pastor Pete. You’re correct that we must pray for our enemies it is only the power of God that can transform lives.