The Tulsa community needs our prayers, so let’s unite together as a body and lift them up before the Father.
Pain—literal, physical pain is said to be the reason Michael Lewis killed four people and then himself in Tulsa on June 1. Another kind of pain, it could be argued, was the motive behind Salvador Ramos killing 19 children and two teachers on May 24 in Texas, again causing immeasurable pain. Tonight, husbands will go to bed without wives, wives without husbands, children without parents, parents without children—all enduring unspeakable pain.
Meanwhile, we scroll through our news feeds, hungry to understand why it seems like there has been so much violence and pain lately. We feel helpless and possibly a little scared, too, wondering what our world is coming to. Yet, we continue scrolling because, we wonder, What else can we do when there is just so much pain?
What can we do when there is so much pain?
And that, I believe, is a question worth exploring. What can we do when there is so much pain? Sure, we can (and do) get angry and vent our opinions and frustrations on social media and even argue with those who disagree with us, but that’s not really doing anything. And so ultimately, we circle back to the same question again and query, But what is there to do?
I believe the answer can be found in the Gospel accounts describing the events leading up to Jesus’ death. He was getting ready to experience the painful betrayal of a friend and the abandonment of those closest to him, while preparing to go through the most humiliating, torturous, excruciating death imaginable. And what did he do? He prayed.
Luke says that Jesus was in agony and prayed so earnestly that sweat like drops of blood dripped off him (Luke 22:44). Not only was he about to experience intense emotional and physical pain, he was also about to endure the ultimate pain of being separated from God the Father. And so he prayed. For hours.
Psalm 116:2 (NLT) says, “Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”
We stop scrolling and we pray.
Hear me on this: God listens to our prayers. Jesus knew this; that’s why he set the example for us. And because we have the Creator of the universe, the Most High God, the Abba Father, who leans down to listen when we pray, then friends, we stop scrolling and we pray. We pray for those who are too broken to pray, for those who don’t know how they’re going to continue on, for those who are too angry, too hurt, too shocked. We just start praying and we keep praying.
So, today, right now, let’s pray for those affected by the shooting in Tulsa.
So, today, right now, let’s pray for those affected by the shooting in Tulsa. Even if you can’t find the words to pray—that’s okay, pray anyway. Paul tells us that the Spirit intercedes for us when we don’t know what to pray for (Rom. 8:26-27), but the important thing is to just pray.
Will you join me in praying for Tulsa? Here are some ways to lift up those affected by this tragedy:
1. Pray for the victims’ loved ones.
It’s devastating to lose a loved one, but it can be especially shocking when it happens due to an act of violence. Right now, there are five families in the Tulsa area who are overwhelmed with shock and grief. Let’s lift these families up in prayer and ask the Lord to be present with them through this terrible time.
2. Pray for those who witnessed the tragedy.
There are several people who directly witnessed the tragedy and others who were injured as well. To experience an event like this is incredibly traumatic and will no doubt affect those who were present. Pray that the Lord would give them peace and comfort and that there wouldn’t be any long-term negative effects.
3. Pray for the family of Michael Lewis.
It’s easy to forget in a situation like this that the person who committed the violence often also has family and friends that are in shock and grieving as well. Not to mention the fact that they will now also have to carry the burden of what their loved one did. Let’s pray that the family and friends of Mr. Lewis can process this situation, as well as their grief, and that they wouldn’t be crushed by the burden of the tragedy.
4. Pray for the Tulsa community.
This tragedy has been a shock for the Tulsa community and it will spark strong feelings of fear, anger, grief, and more. Let’s pray that this community can heal together and be unified as it navigates healing through this tragedy.
Instead of allowing our opinions to divide us, let us unite together in prayer.
5. Pray for our country.
Right now our country is reeling over the news of recent events and it’s igniting a lot of strong feelings. Our country as a whole is divided on opinions on how to best prevent these tragedies and it’s causing a lot of frustration and anger, even among Christians. But instead of allowing our opinions to divide us, let us unite together in prayer. Pray for our country, our leaders, and our fellow countrymen and that the Lord would grant us wisdom, discernment, and unity as a nation.
6. Pray that many would come to know Christ.
Pray that during this time, those who are hurting would feel the love and comfort of a Savior who gave everything for them and that many would come to truly know Jesus.