By Graham Glover –
Another gun tragedy. Another debate.
This time though the debate isn’t about whether we need more or better guns laws. This time it’s about prayer. That’s right, prayer. 26 people were innocently slaughtered while worshiping God and now we’re having a debate on whether Christians offering prayers of condolence and support are enough.
Let that sink in for a moment. 26 human beings were gun downed by a troubled young man and the question today isn’t what can be done to help prevent such atrocities from happening in the future. The question is on whether prayers of condolence and support are enough.
I wish I could offer an insightful response to those who think prayers of condolence and support are meaningless. Tragically though, those who believe such things are but a reflection of the power that secular progressivism has on our culture today. A sad reality about many of our neighbors and fellow citizens.
But my concern isn’t with those that reject the power and importance of prayer. Rather, it’s with those, like myself, who try and heed the command of our Lord to pray.
In times like these, we most assuredly should pray. We pray because God tells us to do so. We pray because we know that He hears our cries for mercy. We pray because this is what people of faith do. We call on the Almighty to offer us His grace and His love – especially in times like this.
What I don’t understand though is why we shouldn’t pray for good government and just laws with respect to guns? Why does the common mantra among the faithful the past few days shy from praying for a better solution to the plague of gun tragedies in our land, focusing almost exclusively on prayers of condolence and support for those affected by the tragedy in Texas? Shouldn’t we also pray for a practical solution? Shouldn’t we pray that the very institution our Lord put in place to wield the sword and maintain the peace – that is, THE GOVERNMENT – do something through its laws to address things?
We pray, rightly, that the government would end the legal sanctioning of abortion.
We pray, rightly, that our government would embrace a right understanding of marriage.
We pray, rightly, that our government would ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to practice their faith.
We pray, rightly, that our government leaders would govern justly and act in accordance with God’s will.
So why don’t we pray for the government to end the senseless gun violence that infects us? Why don’t we pray that our government officials finally act, addressing the myriad of issues contributing to these heinous acts?
As we stand up to the government to do the right thing on abortion, marriage, and religious liberty, can we not do the same on guns? Is it not right for us to pray for just gun laws and good governance of them? Unlike some that have monopolized the debate this week, I refuse to believe our only solution is to arm our parishioners and stand guard at our parish doors. I also refuse to believe that God does not want us to act, but rather accept these tragedies as a consequence of what it means to be a follower of His. This is theological stupidity at its best.
It’s time to pray. Time offer our prayers of condolence and support to all those affected by last Sunday’s tragic gun violence in Texas. It’s also time to offer our prayers to those that make our laws – to include our gun laws – that they may act justly and prudently.
It’s time to pray – for sorrow and for action.