There's not much that can be said after the horrific tragedy yesterday in Newtown, CT where 26 where killed including 20 children.
Now there will be calls for action. The President today is saying that action needs to be taken to prevent more shootings. That's code for gun-control. But what action can be taken to prevent further tragedies like Newtown? We already have gun-free zones and metal detectors at the entrance to schools. We already have cities with stringent gun laws like Washington D.C. and Chicago, which incidentally have the highest rates of murders, even with gun laws. We can pass more laws which is exactly what politicians love to do, but all the laws in the world would not have prevented yesterday's tragedy, or the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, or the Ft. Hood massacre.
Here's what the problem is, and tell me if you can legislate against this problem.
There are evil people. There are people who are bent and broken and prone to violence. But there is also evil inside each of our hearts. Jesus said in Mark 7:20-23 (NLT)
20 And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you.
21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder,
22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.
23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
So maybe it's time for politicians (Democrat and Republican) and our President as well as all of us to search our hearts and ask God to remove the evil that's within each one of us. We need to remove the log from our own eyes before we try to remove a speck from someone else's eye. We need to ask God to cleanse us (each one of us) individually. We need to forgive even as we have been forgiven and ask for help to love our enemies and to do good to them, not repaying evil for evil but serving them in love. Then we need to pray for our nation and ask God's forgiveness for how we've fallen as a nation, and we are now reaping what we've sowed as a rebellious, hard-hearted people.
Here's my prayer for everyone affected by the shooting yesterday at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT.:
I thank-you that you are the God of Mercy and Grace. You hear the cries and the pain of those who have lost loved ones.
Lord, your word says that you are close to the brokenhearted, and you rescue those whose spirits are crushed. Lord, bring your love and hope to those who have lost children and loved ones at the Sandy Hook School.
Lord, bring healing to the brokenhearted, and bring healing to the pain and hurt and loss that so many have suffered. Turn their eyes to You, that they might look to You. Don't let their hearts become hardened but wrap your arms of love around each parent, each person who has lost a loved one in this senseless tragedy.
Lord, walk with them through the valley of the shadow of death at this time.
Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love You and obey your commands.
But Lord, as a people, we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against You, and scorned your commands and laws.
We have refused to listen to your servants who have spoken on your authority to our Presidents and politicians.
Lord, you are righteous, but as you see, we are covered with shame. This is true of all of us, including our leaders, our religious shepherds, our media, and all the people here in America. We have sinned against You, and You alone.
We trust in our man-made laws. We trust in our law enforcement. We trust in our regulations. We trust in our police and fire departments. We trust in our politicians. But, we do not trust in You. We have refused to place our trust in You. Instead, we have looked to others and other places for safety and security.
Lord, forgive us for not trusting You, for not listening to You and obeying You. Forgive us for mocking your servants and your spiritual leaders. Forgive us for not reading and obeying Your Words in the Bible.
Lord, look down from heaven and see our despair. I make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of Your mercy.
O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! Heal our brokenness. Heal our rebellious ways. Turn our hearts back to You, O Lord.
Once again, be glorified in our nation. Once again, bring us to the place where we can honestly say, "In God, we trust."
In the name of the Messiah, the Chosen One, Yeshua, Lord Jesus,