Today, I saw this headline: “This is the third terrorist attack France has suffered in just over a month.” My heart sank and as always in the face of such terror, I wondered, ‘How should I pray about this?’
As many of you will have read, France (my home country) has been hit by 3 attacks recently and as Christians, in the face of such suffering and evil, it can be difficult to know exactly how to pray.
Today I am again reminded of the words of Psalm 37.
Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
So, in the light of Psalm 37, how can we pray?
Firstly, let’s consider people. Let’s pray for those who are fighting for their lives. Let’s pray for the families and those who have lost someone they loved. Let’s also pray for those who witnessed the attack and for the local residents who have to come to terms with this enormous tragedy. Let’s pray also for the medical centres who are working with the injured.
Secondly, we need to pray for wisdom for national governments as they discuss and debate what happens next, that they choose ways and responses which are inspired by God and not necessarily their own intuition.
Thirdly, let us always go to God’s Word for our answers. His Word (John 1:5) says that the darkness in the world will get darker, but that darkness will never extinguish light. In fact, it says that light (His light) will continue to shine brighter and the darkness CANNOT overcome it. That is where I get my strength and hope.
Let’s pray with passion for our world and all those who are suffering and grieving today.
And may God’s light, his in-extinguishable light shine ever brighter in the middle of the darkness we see.