11.15.2009

Old Post: 9/11 Prayer Requests

[Originally posted September 13, 2001]

There is much to pray about in the face of the twin terrorist attacks earlier this week. Although I could not stay for the duration of Tuesday evening's impromptu prayer vigil, I was first struck by the fact that our first reaction as a congregation was to come together and pray. You can learn much from people and groups from how they respond to crisis. We can say all we want to say in our vision statements, but when the rubber hits the road, what is our gut response? I am proud that I belong to a church body whose first response in crisis is to come together and pray.

I cannot catalog all that deserves prayer in this time of sorrow and need, but my heart is heavy with two requests:

1. Even as our hearts demand justice for the atrocities that we see played out on TV, we must be sobered about our own need for mercy. We might argue that the evil in our own hearts is of much less magnitude than that in the hearts of these perpetrators, but we cannot rightly argue that it is of a different nature. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All of us are deserving of condemnation. "If you did mark iniquities, O LORD, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness that You may be feared" (Psalm 130).

2. Politically, the world is very unstable right now. I am personally not a pacifist; I believe that there is sometimes justification for war and even for killing. But I believe such courses of action must be entered into prayerfully, purposefully, and considerately, and not out of revenge, impatience, or passion. And I believe that such action has severe consequences. Although I trust in God and believe that He is LORD over history and its rulers, I honestly fear for the future of our world. May God bless America; may God bless us all.


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