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How to Pray in the Midst of Tragedy

How to Pray in the Midst of Tragedy

BY Preston Hammitt

Anytime there is a mass shooting or tragedy, many people in the media and news will say something like, "Our prayers are with them." For many, it’s a throwaway line- something you’re just supposed to say. But for the Christian, it’s more than that. It has to be if we are seeking to adorn the gospel of Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives.

So, how exactly are we supposed to pray in moments like these? What do we say to God? What prayers do we need to offer for the victims and the survivors? I realize these are tough questions to unpack, so I won’t attempt to do so. Instead, let me offer some basic prayers that every Christian can pray in times of tragedy. I’m not suggesting this is the full extent of what you should be praying for, simply a starting point.

1. Prayer for Unbelievers- There are always people affected by tragedies who are not followers of Christ. Pray that their eyes may be opened to the evils around us and that they may recognize these evils as indicative of a fallen, sinful world. (Romans 5:12) May they come to hear the gospel message and follow Jesus.

2. Prayer for Evildoers- I’m specifically talking about those who commit these atrocities to harm and kill others. We must recognize that there are many evil people in this world. Pray that they may repent of their sins and turn from their evil ways. (Romans 12:21)

3. Prayer for Christians- When we see people around us hurting, we ought to show compassion as Jesus did. This is especially true in times of deep tragedy. Our prayer is that Christians around the world may be effective in their witnessing to unbelievers. Pray that all Christians seek opportunities for witnessing and that they may be used by God to accomplish his purposes. (Matthew 9:37-38)

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