In the wake of yet another school shooting, calls for prayer went out across the various social networks as well as calls for action of one kind or another, which are themselves prayers.
The question is why pray and not simply act.
When the Christian calls for prayer, he’s not saying that he’s unwilling or unable to act, rather that his actions are governed by the Sovereign over creation. He’s placing himself under the hand of the only one who can actually do something.
It is very easy to make knee-jerk or ham-handed statements, however until our nation is willing to admit that it has a problem, no amount of legislation will cure what is, at bottom, a heart condition.
So why is there a call for prayer?
First, it focuses attention on the immediate needs. Christians are called to weep with those that mourn, people who will need a shoulder to cry on.
Second, it causes us to recognize our place in the world. All of human power is shown to be futile in such times. These are moments that cry for humility.
Third, it gives us pause. There is no greater time for enemies to come and attack when we have been knocked back on our heels. Dropping to our knees in humble submission draws our focus to the ultimate.
There are some things that should occur in such times, such as repentance and rededication, but those whose pride separates them from God will never stop to reflect on what is really going on.