There are times when our own words are insufficient. Our mouth feels like it is full of sawdust and our tongue feels like sandpaper because we don’t know how to respond to a crisis of this magnitude.
But, for a multitude of reasons (good and bad), people will try. In trying they will do everything, including blaming God, blaming religion, blaming people, calling it God’s judgment and everything in between.
In our modern day socially driven media circus, everybody is looking for an angle to get more clicks and more subscribers.
To avoid the temptation to use a tragedy as a platform, it would be best to put aside opinions and turn to God. How, then, should we pray? How do you pray without an agenda? The best way I know to pray without an agenda is to pray using the character and names of God as my focus in prayer.
Here are some examples that you might want to use as you pray for the families who lost loved ones, a city in mourning, the political ramifications of the tragedy and our nation as it moves forward.
(Note: The scriptures have been adjusted so that you can personalize them.)
As you pray for the families who lost loved ones, pray that “the God who see and cares” would be present among them.
|Psalm 33.13-15 (MEV)||[You look] from heaven; [You] see all the sons of men. From the place of [Your] habitation [You] gaze on all the inhabitants of the earth; [You] fashion their hearts alike; [You] consider all their works.|
|Psalm 33.18||[Your] eye is on those who fear [You], on those who hope in [Your] lovingkindness,|
|2 Chronicles 16.9||For [Your] eyes move about on all the earth to strengthen the heart that is completely toward [You].|
|Hebrews 4.13||There is no creature that is not revealed in [Your] sight, for all things are bare and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.|
As you pray for the city of Orlando, pray that “the God who is loving and caring” would be on display.
|Psalm 33.5, 34:18||The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord. [You are] near to the brokenhearted and [save] those who are crushed in spirit.|
|Psalm 36.5,7-9||Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens, and Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. How excellent is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore mankind seeks refuge in the shadow of Your wings. [I] will drink [my] fill from the abundance of Your house, and You will cause [me] to drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life.|
|Psalm 103.8-14, 17||[Oh Lord You are] merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. [You do] not always accuse, neither will [You] keep [your] anger forever. [You do] not treat [me] according to [my] sins, nor repay [me] according to [my] iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is [Your] mercy toward those who fear [You]; as far as the east is from the west, so far [have You] removed [my] transgressions from [me]. Like a father shows compassion to his children, so [You, oh] Lord give compassion to those who fear [You]. For [You know] how [I] am formed; [You remember] that [I am] dust. But [Your]mercy is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear [You]…|
|Psalm 145.17-20||[You are] righteous in all [Your] ways, and loving in all [Your] works. [You are] near to all those who call upon [You], To all who call upon [You] in truth. [You] will fulfill the desire of those who fear [You]; [You] also will hear [my] cry and will save [me]. [You, O] LORD [preserve] all those who love [You].|
|John 3.16||For [You] so loved the world that [You] gave your only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.|
As you pray for the political ramifications that will come from this tragedy, pray that “the God who is righteous and just” would step in and give wisdom to those who are in authority.
|Deut. 32.3-4||For I will proclaim [Your name]. Ascribe greatness to our God! [You are] the Rock, [Your] work is perfect, and all [Your] ways are just. [You are] a God of faithfulness and without injustice. God who does no wrong, righteous and upright [are You].|
|Psalm 9.4-6||You sat on the throne judging what is right. You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked, You have wiped out their name forever and ever. Oh you enemy, destructions have come to you for a perpetual end. You have destroyed cities; their memory perished with them.|
|Psalm 36.6||Your righteousness is like the great mountains, Your judgments like the great deep…|
|Psalm 45.3-7||Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O mighty one, with Your splendor and Your majesty. In Your majesty ride on prosperously, because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and Your right hand will [display awesome deeds]. Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; peoples will fall under You. Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; the scepter of your kingdom is an upright scepter. You love righteousness and hate wickedness.|
|Psalm 71.19||Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heights; You have done great deeds; O God, who is like You?|
|Psalm 96.10,13||[I will] say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Indeed, the world is established; it shall not be moved; [You] shall judge the peoples righteously … [You come] to judge the earth! [You] shall judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with [Your] faithfulness.|
As you pray for the nation, pray that “the God who has all authority” would lead this nation and that God would restore righteousness as the foundation for how we move forward as a nation.
|Matthew 28.18||And [You] spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”|
|Eph. 1.20-22||[Jesus, You have been raised] from the dead and seated at [The Father’s] right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principalities, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And [the Father has] put all things in subjection under [Your] feet, and [has given You] as head over all things…|
|Phil. 2.9-11||Therefore God highly exalted [You], and gave [You] the name which is above every name, so that at [Your name] every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that [You are] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.|
|Psalm 24.1||The earth belongs to [You], and its fullness, the world, and those who dwell in it.|
(Scriptures were taken from the Adoration and Proclamation Prayer Book.)
My heart is broken for those who lost family and loved ones. I pray that you will turn your concern and grief into prayer during this time.
Ben Woodward is a worship leader, speaker, author and songwriter from Australia. As you will find out by reading his book You Shall Know the Truth, he is passionate about helping people discover Jesus through worship and prayer. He lives in Kansas City with his wife, Kathryn, and three children, Eliana, Cohen and Paisley.