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Like all of you, I was absolutely appalled by the news of the shooting that took place at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. What was supposed to be a time of fellowship and worship in the Lord’s presence turned into a horrific ordeal which resulted in mass injury and loss of life. At least 26 image bearers of God were slain and now the families and the community are left picking up the pieces.

Tragedies like this provoke many discussions and debates around issues such as domestic violence, gun control, and church security protocols. We absolutely need to address these issues and seek concrete solutions, but that is not the focus of this post. Honestly, I don’t feel like I have the proper words at this point. I am tired saints. I have been to war and back and I am tired of violence.

Will you join me in praying that those in Sutherland Springs would be comforted by the God of all comfort? Is it alright if we include Charleston, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Bernardino, Blacksburg, Aurora, and all of those who have been struck by this plague of gun violence?

Let us pray.

Father God, we cry out to you. We thank you that we can approach your throne of grace boldly through the person and work of Jesus Christ. We thank you that you have caused us to be born again by the power of your Spirit who now indwells us and testifies with our spirits that we are the sons and daughters of God.

Father, you are able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. We come to you now and we ask that your kingdom would come and that your will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. Lord God, bring healing to the families and communities impacted by these tragedies. We ask that you invade every place of darkness with your glorious light. Let grace abound.

O God of heaven and earth, bring peace like only you can. There are people who have so many questions Lord. They are asking why. Some of them don’t even know how they are going to make it through the day. Lord, would you carry them? Would you take them up in your loving arms and bring them through? Save Lord!

Lord, we thank you for disarming principalities and powers and making an open show of your victory over them. We pray against the forces of darkness. We ask that you dispel this evil and spiritual wickedness with your mighty hand and your outstretched arm. God of peace, crush Satan under our feet!

Help us to weep with those who are weeping. Give us the grace and wisdom to be your hands and feet. Show us how to mobilize as your people. Show us how to be graciously and boldly present in these difficult times.

Father, for the sake of your great name, we ask that you keep our hearts from being filled with bitterness, revenge, and despair. As your people, we are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world. Let grace, mercy, truth, and justice prevail.

We ask these things in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus, come quickly!

Earon serves as the Lead/Teaching Pastor of Relevant Life Church in Pace, Florida. Relevant Life is a multi-ethnic, mult-igenerational church that aims to faithfully preach the gospel, grow in Christ-centered community, and lovingly engage the world. He and his wife, Carolyn, have five children. You can follow Earon on Twitter: @earonjames.

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