Prayer and the Tradegy in Tucson

Last Monday a number of praying citizens converged upon our State Capital building and proceeded to pray for the incoming representatives before they took their oath of office and began the legislative session. We began and ended in the rotunda and in between prayed throughout the Capital building. Every seat in the legislative hall was prayed over and anointed. One of the things I emphasized as we closed, before sharing in refreshments with the many people present, was 1 Tim 2:1-3:

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

This is something I try to carry out daily in my own personal life. I pray for the president and his family and their health and safety. I pray for other elected officials from local school boards to the governor. I pray for lots of other people who are in authority who are not elected, like our military and fist responders, our church leaders, and our business leaders.

On one day last week I turned on the Television while I sat down for a late lunch. I listened to an interview with a congresswoman from Arizona and I liked some of the things she was proposing to save money – like giving congress a pay cut. She had voted for the liberal Health Care Law, but seemed to be trying to move a bit to the right in light of the changes in the makeup of congress since the election. I can’t say when it was, but sometime after that I had a thought about Leo Ryan who was the only member of congress ever to be killed while in office. He was killed while investigating the Jim Jones cult in Guyana, South America. While few other jobs can come close to being as safe as a member of congress is, with only one casualty while in the line of duty in almost two hundred and a quarter years, I added this to my prayers because the bible says the Spirit of God helps us to pray when we don’t know the details on how to pray (Rom 8:26).

Like all of America I was horrified to hear of the horrific shooting which had just taken place in Tucson, AZ, on Saturday. I was familiar with the congresswomen who it seems was the object of the assassin’s activities because she was the same one I had seen interviewed only a day before. I prayed fervently for her and the other wounded individuals and the families of those who had died, including a conservative Federal judge who had stopped by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ event to say hello.

As reports came in I felt nothing but disdain for the acts of such a coward as Jared Loughner, the shooter. My shock and disdain escalated though at the behavior exhibited by many of the politically liberal individuals who were interviewed in light of the shooting. I was astounded at how quickly blame was being flung against conservatives and the military. The shooter was described as a possible member of the Tea Party, as a returning veteran of the Afghan war, all without any evidence, and all turned out to be false. If you will recall this is the same thing that happened when the car bomb was discovered in Times Square, when, without any evidence, the Mayor said he was sure it was placed by some conservative who was upset about the Health Care legislation. I don’t recall any apology when the Islamic Terrorist who set the bomb was captured while trying to flee to the middle east.

In fact, Jared Loughner was described by a former classmate “as I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.” Don’t hold your breath waiting for a retraction from those who have blamed conservatives or veterans because it’s doubtful you will hear of one.

Rather than apologize for their vitriol these folks now seem to be repeating a mantra that the discourse has gotten too course in this country and we need to tone it down. This they say even as they point fingers and try to affix blame on their political opponents. It seems they want everyone to “tone it down” except their own selves. Wasn’t it the president that called his opponents “enemies”, wasn’t it his chief of staff that said “never waste a crisis” but use every crisis to grab more power and push the liberal agenda further? Wasn’t it the president’s Homeland Security director who released the report warning that the likely terrorists would come from conservatives and returning veterans? It’s no wonder that the folks who digest these things without considering the facts jump to conclusions and false accusations so quickly.

It’s really a shame – but these folks are shameless. Most folks want to reflect and pray for the families who have been so deeply affected by these horrific events. However, in the present climate, one is wise not to let down his guard, as the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

Habakkuk, the Old Testament prophet was a watchman, and he wrote that as he stood on the wall guarding the city that he expected God to speak to him while he was on duty. It was during this time on the wall that he received what was to become one of the most re-written quotes in the bible “the just shall live by his faith.”

My heart was both broken and encouraged as I listened to the words of the mother who lost her darling little nine year old to the lunatic’s rampage on Saturday as she expressed her loss but also expressed her faith and how her faith was sufficient to see her through. May we all remember that example as we continue to pray for those effected by such a tragedy, but remain as watchmen in faith.

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