In the wake of the mass shooting which took place in Las Vegas this past Sunday evening (Oct. 1), we want to ask the body Christ to turn to the Lord in prayer, both individually and corporately. We may not know all of the details of this event, and we may not even know at times how we ought to pray when events like this occur, but we have a heavenly Father who hears the prayers of His children as we cry out to Him. Ed Stetzer, the Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center, suggests the following three ways that we can be praying:
1. Pray for the victims – Mass casualty attacks like this inevitably cause significant pain and destruction. We can and should pray for healing for the survivors and for their loved ones, as well as for the loved ones of those who lost their lives. Ask the Great Physician to perform great miracles and to bring physical healing, and pray that He would provide emotional healing and spiritual assistance to all of those in need.
2. Pray for our leaders – Regardless of our political leanings or perspectives, 1 Timothy 2:1-2 commands us to offer humble and sincere intercession and thanksgiving for all who are in authority and in positions of power. Pray honestly and fervently for our leaders to have divine wisdom and discernment in the days to come. Pray that our leaders would turn to the Lord at this time, that they would humble themselves and seek His face, and that they would lean on Him for their every care, concern, and burden. And pray specifically for Las Vegas civic leaders, including police, law enforcement officials, the city council, and other leaders to whom that community will be looking for answers and assurance.
3. Pray for churches and Christ-followers in Las Vegas – We should pray for churches and Christ-followers in the Las Vegas area to be compassionate and gracious ministers of the gospel in the midst of this loss. Pray that God would open many doors for ministry and for the love of Christ to be shared in practical ways. Pray that Christ-followers would be salt and light in that community (Matthew 5:13-16).
Let’s pray together in unity for the Lord to be glorified in this difficult circumstance.