In the wake of school violence, much doubt has been cast upon the power of prayer. I’ve heard it said that prayer is insufficient to stop bullets from killing our school children. Thank You, Father that this is not true. You absolutely hear prayer (Psalm 65:2).
Granted, in and of ourselves, we are powerless to stop the spew of violence erupting against our children. No amount of regulated control can stop the overflow of bitterness pouring from a wounded heart. Indeed, it is “out of the heart (that) evil thoughts, murders…false witness and slanders come” (Matthew 15:19). But we are reminded that You are greater than our hearts (1 John 3:20). So we turn our eyes toward You and ask for Your intervention (2 Chronicles 20:12).
You promised to heal our land when we humble ourselves, pray, seek Your Face, and turn from our own disobedience (2 Chronicles 7:14). So, I begin here Father — doing my part, so that You are free to do Yours. What is within me, O Lord, that harbors offense and violence against my fellow man? Who am I angry towards? What gossip and slander have I propagated? Who have I withdrawn my patience and kindness from? Who do I need to forgive? What methods of violence and malice do I entertain within my own heart?
O Father, forgive me for taking offense. Forgive me for spreading a doubt of character onto the one who has hurt me. Forgive me for amusing myself with aggressive or gruesome entertainment. I recognize that each of these guide my heart toward the very violence I speak so strongly against. May I be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, after all my own anger can never achieve Your righteousness (James 1:19-20).
As each of us yields to Your Kingdom rule within us as individuals, Your peace will extend within our sphere of influence, including our schools. Your Kingdom will come on earth, just as it has already come in heaven (Matthew 6:10). May Your Light shine so brightly within each of us that You alone are glorified (Matthew 5:16). Overtake the darkness as Light shines out of Your people (John 1:5). Praise You for being the King who dwells in unapproachable light — to You be honor and eternal dominion. Amen (1 Timothy 6:15-16).
Photography courtesy of Sara Jeng Grewar. Follow her on Instagram.