prayer-warriorToday is not the start of the week we anticipated.  I fully expected today would be spent sharing about the wedding our family attended Saturday.

Instead, we reflect on two tragic events that have our hearts aching for the families and wondering what we can do to stop violence as a response to conflict.  First, we mourn with the families of those lost – the Grimmie family from Friday and the many families impacted by the Pulse shooting early Sunday. We pray with and for them. I also pray for the Orlando officials dealing with two high-profile incidents and for their ability to effectively handle the discussions with family members and the onslaught of media coverage.

I pray for our individual responses to the tragedy – the blame and insulting rhetoric will be tossed around (it already has) by public figures and politicians.  Let’s not fall into that trap.  These were terrible decisions made by two individuals who were clearly broken and frustrated and chose violence, and ultimately death, as their solution.

I read a column today calling on our Washington leadership, in the White House and in Congress, to ‘go big’ and work together for sensible compromises.

Here’s my thought: while that may be admirable advice, if you want to ‘go big’ and you want a practical solution, start by looking in the mirror.  Look inside yourself and evaluate where your heart is. The only change that can have any lasting impact is the change in the human heart, which drives every decision you make and eventually, influences those around you. That change happens when you come to the end of yourself and allow Christ to take His rightful place there, on the throne of your heart.

Allowing Christ and HIS power to be your motivation and your fuel can help you overcome the anger and the frustration you may be feeling right now. It also helps you respond and be bold when you see evil and don’t know what to do. I challenge all of us to earnestly pray for the change we want to see in ourselves and in the world.

Philippians 4: 6-8 reminds us: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

Word of the Day: paranymph – it means a groomsman or a bridesmaid.

Thanks for listening and keep those prayers lifted!

-Joe

 

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