[Papercut Press] 2001-09-12 - Nine-One-One

Psalm 6:9 "The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord receives my prayer."

After a terrorist attack on American interests in the Middle East, Ronald Reagan said in March 1986, "No one can kill Americans and brag about it. No one." There are and will be a lot of reactions to the events of 11 September 2001. I was at the local post office early in the morning, after the plane crashes, but before the towers fell. There was a gentleman whose solution was for the United States to simply destroy all nations that have Islam as their national religion. He was very angry. I am glad I don't have to decide how react to these events for America. I am glad that the best advice I can offer is that Christians ought to be praying.

Of course, we should already be people of prayer. We should not need a crisis to make us people of prayer. But there is something about a crisis that drives us deeper into the habit of prayer. We should take advantage of this opportunity to commune with the Lord. We have every reason to be people of prayer and no reason to fail in this Christian duty. If you have been struggling with your prayer life, there may never be a clearer opportunity given to you to start praying again. Let me suggest some things we can pray about.

  1. Those injured, their families, and the families of those missing or dead. We can pray that the Spirit would be used to comfort those who need to be comforted, but also that the Spirit would use this as a means to lead people to consider or reconsider Jesus Christ. We can pray for wisdom, endurance, and skill for the doctors and counselors who are treating the wounded and bereaved. Along this line, we need to pray for the rescuers who will be seeing things that no human should have to see. We can pray for their emotional and mental stability as they go through the next few days.

  2. Scripture has some tough words regarding what we should pray for in a situation like this. "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." Matthew 5:44 In addition, we have the example of Christ in Luke 23:34. When He was being crucified, He said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." We need to be praying for those who perpetuated these acts.

  3. We need to be praying for our leaders and those in places of authority. We need to be praying that they would turn to the Lord for wisdom. We should ask the Lord to direct their hearts, minds and decisions. We need to pray that they can set aside politics and come together in the interests of the country and the world. In addition, we should pray that those leaders of industry, who have died during this tragedy, will be replaced with men and women whose lives are pleasing to the Lord.

  4. Lastly, we need to pray for our response to this day. Besides prayer, we ought to be looking for ways we can offer help. I know my city, Philadelphia, is sending part of its blood supply to New York. Giving blood, if you are able, might be one way you can help with the need. Another thing we might do is simply be good citizens. We can do this by showing patience and compassion to those we come into contact with. We can do this by avoiding negative conversations about our leaders. If you have issues with the decisions the leaders make regarding this disaster, you have a willing audience in Heaven. Take your concerns to the Lord.

I admit that I am in shock, knowing that the single largest national disaster in our nation is only hours past. It is the not knowing that is hardest. How bad is it really? How many people are buried alive and running out of air?

Did I know anyone who died? But in the end, I do in this what I would do in any situation; I rest in Christ. I rest in His sovereign grace and mercy and long for that day when, "the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] godrulestb@aol.com