#Prayfor… – How do we pray in response to terror and tragedy?

It has become common over the past few years to see a #Prayfor hashtag on social media straight after tragedies and terror attacks. For some, the hashtag is just another way of expressing grief, outrage and sympathy but for many there will be a real desire to pray. We have responded to the recent attacks in London and Manchester as well as the Paris attacks to pray for those cities. We also take time to pray for those experiencing suffering and persecution around the world on a regular basis.

So, what do we pray for? I want to suggest the following ways that we can #PrayforManchester and #PrayforLondon

1.       We are praying for those who have been injured in the attacks that they would make a full recovery and for the doctors and nurses who are treating them.

2.       We are praying for those who are grieving the loss of loved ones that they will be comforted and that there will be people in their lives who are able to get alongside them.

3.       We are praying for our national leaders and the leaders in those cities that they will be able to respond wisely to events.

4.       We are praying for justice, that those who committed crimes will be found and prosecuted. As we pray for justice, this must also mean that we want to see innocent people protected from revenge vendettas against specific communities

5.       We are praying for peace that terror would cease and that communities would not be divided against each other.

6.       Most of all, we are praying for the work of the Gospel. In the midst of darkness we pray that the Light would shine bright. We pray for churches in those cities that they will be able to clearly and compassionately share the Gospel. We pray that those who are hurting, grieving and angry would turn to Christ and discover that real hope is only found in him. We are praying that even those who are been involved in terrorism would turn to Christ and find eternal forgiveness. We are praying that those who are at risk of getting caught up hate filled ideologies will hear and respond the Gospel and be saved from a life of violence.

We pray these things because we believe in the God who answers prayer.