Dear Brothers and Sisters of Oak Hills Church –
In the past hour, reports have begun to surface about yet another tragic mass shooting – this one close to home, right here in Oregon at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. The initial reports indicate ten fatalities and many more wounded. No word yet on a shooter or a motive.
When I saw the news I felt the all-too-familiar sensation of hopelessness. We’ve had too many of these recently. Evil takes its mask off and parades through the news cycle while we all look on in horror.
Yet behind that initial feeling of grief, I experienced a renewed sense of urgency: we can be part of fighting this battle! And right now, our greatest weapon is prayer. We are told three very clear things in scripture:
1) We serve a God who hears our prayers and longs to heal our land when we go to him on our knees (2 Chronicles 7:14).
2) We serve a God who can bring holy peace into the midst of terrible tragedy (John 16:33)
3) We serve a God who ultimately brings justice and redemption to his broken world (Romans 8:20-21)
I encourage you to find five minutes this afternoon, and to pray these prayers along with me and with the church:
a) For those who are wounded and fighting for life and health in the hospital – Lord work your healing in their bodies and minds.
b) For the families of the deceased – Lord cover them over in your peace which passes all understanding.
c) For the shooter(s) – that evil might be overcome with good. That justice might be done. That hate might not be the final victor.
d) For the bystanders, the shaken, the community of Umpqua Community College – that courageous servants would step forward with words of comfort and acts of kindness.
e) For our broken world – that those who seek infamy through these terrible acts would be intercepted by God’s grace and disarmed by God’s love.
f) For the church, that we might be boldly engaged with the lost, the lonely, the violent – those most in need of God’s love.
Lets be the church in prayer today!! Thank you for joining me in the holy, urgent work of prayer.
And please contact me for further conversation, or to share your own struggles with these events. God’s grace is sufficient.
Yours in Christ,