Editor’s note: The last several weeks have witnessed many events of violence that are difficult to comprehend, and which confound efforts to respond wisely and biblically: the Orlando nightclub shooting, repeated acts of terror in the Middle East, and most recently, terrifying violence involving police in the United States. As you process your own reactions to these events, please join pastor Mel Lawrenz in this prayer for God’s wisdom.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” — James 1:5
You have said in your word that whenever we know we need wisdom, we should ask for it, and that you will give it generously. In these perilous times, we pray for your wisdom from above.
Grant us wisdom to know the way you look on the affairs of our nation.
Grant us wisdom to understand how you view our world today.
Grant us wisdom to know what an ordered and just and compassionate society looks like.
Grant us wisdom to know what to do with the reality of evil.
Grant us wisdom to uphold the defenseless.
Grant us wisdom to love you and love our neighbor as ourselves.
Lord, we pray that our leaders will personally understand that you are a dynamic reality in the world and in our lives.
May we be a nation which depends on you, acknowledges your blessings, and values what you value. And on the day after the election, Lord, help us to be faithful members of your kingdom and responsible citizens of the nation we inhabit.
In Christ’s name and for his sake, Amen.
For more biblical insight to help you grapple with the difficult issues presented by acts of terror and violence, see this past posts:
- Why Does God Allow Tragedy and Suffering? — Christian author and apologist Lee Strobel’s thoughts in the aftermath of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting comprise a very thorough exploration of Christianity’s “problem of evil.”
- What Does the Bible Say About Violence? — does the Bible condone violence? How does the Bible tell us to respond to violence? An in-depth look at a troubling question.
- Violence, the Bible, and the Sikh Temple — reflections on the 2012 Sikh Temple attack in Wisconsin.
- What Does the Bible Say About Religious Extremism? — Mel Lawrenz’ reflection on “religious violence” and what the Bible has to say about it.
Mel Lawrenz trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s minister at large. He has a Ph.D. in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel is the author of 18 books, the latest, How to Understand the Bible—A Simple Guide and Spiritual Influence: the Hidden Power Behind Leadership (Zondervan, 2012). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.