Just a few weeks ago, I read about the ruthless murder (deemed “honor killing”) of a Muslim social-media “star” who was attempting to take a stand against her Muslim upbringing. (Oh, if she’d only known Jesus!)
And recently in my quiet, small town, the cruelty of murder touched our community when a man took the life of his girlfriend, her friend, his small child, and then turned the gun on himself.
We can’t understand the level of hatred, pain, or insanity that would compel a person to commit such atrocious acts. Yet, stories like this happen across the globe.
The fact is that our world is broken because the people in it are broken. We are all in need of wholeness in Christ and of His salvation — and the heart changes that come with it. (Note: This post is not addressing the physical healing that is needed in murderers with mental illness. Mental illness of that magnitude is in need of both prayer and professional help.)
One aspect of murder that makes my heart especially heavy is when a life is taken before the victim has a chance to repent and come to know Christ. Another is when the grieving loved ones left behind don’t know the comfort of our Savior who can help them navigate the journey through pain into healing.
How to Pray
When Jesus found out about the murder of His dear friend and cousin, John the Baptist, He went away, alone, to a desolate place . . . presumably to pray.
When King Jehoshaphat was faced with adversity (yes, of an entirely different type), he also prayed. And I love his story because it reminds us that even when we don’t understand, or know what to do, God does.
“We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12 c)
And God was faithful to Jehoshaphat and the kingdom of Judah, just like He is to us. We can always trust His power to turn any adversity (spiritual, physical, emotional) into victory.
So, what can we pray when we’re faced with such horrific stories? The news can blast the facts, but we’re left feeling heavyhearted and perhaps even helpless.
- We can pray for spiritual victory (salvation, growth, even good future fruit)… for the murderer (if still living) and for the victims’ families.
- We can ask that God would bring the offender and the offended to a place of seeking forgiveness and being forgiving.
- We can pray, asking God to comfort the mourning.
- We can pray for spiritual peace, healing, and direction for the community.
- We can pray for God to act… in whatever way He knows is best.
- We can pray for God to release any who are held captive to fear.
- We can pray for God to show us how we can shine Christ’s light and make a physical difference in our dark world.
A simple prayer we can pray together:
Lord, we don’t understand murder, but we do understand that you can give victory in the most difficult situations. We ask for you to bring salvation to those who are lost, bring comfort to the mourning, and bring fruit for your kingdom out of the dirt and ashes of pain. Show us how to shine your light, love, and forgiveness in a dark world. In Jesus’ name, amen.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
Will you join us in praying about murder in God’s world?