My heart was heavy this morning as I awoke, like others, to the horror of what happened last night in Las Vegas. Here are ten ways I was provoked to pray according to the Word in light of this tragedy in the world. May we spend less time watching and reading the news and more time before the Lord on our knees.
1. Pray for hurting families and friends who awoke to news that a loved one was gone. Pray that they might know and experience God’s mercy, comfort, strength, and sustenance in their every hurt, every pain, every thought, and every emotion (Psalm 34:18).
2. Pray for those who are injured––that God might use His common grace in doctors, nurses, emergency rooms, and hospital beds to bring about their healing (Psalm 6:2).
3. Pray for those who are helping the injured. Pray for wisdom, strength, and skill for these doctors and nurses who are attending to massive physical needs all around them, many without sleep or rest (Isaiah 40:29).
4. Pray for justice. Pray for justice for anyone and everyone who played any part in this evil event, and for grace and wisdom in our civil government for executing justice (Proverbs 21:15; Romans 13:1-7).
5. Pray for mercy. Plainly put, in the city of Las Vegas and all across our country, we desperately need the mercy of God. Let’s all plead for it (Luke 18:9-14).
6. Pray for the church in Las Vegas. Pray for local churches like Hope Church, pastored by my good friend Vance Pitman, to indeed hold onto and hold out the hope of Christ in the midst of despair (Romans 15:13).
7. Pray for people who don’t know Christ. Whether in Las Vegas or anywhere else in the world watching what has happened, pray that more and more people in a world of sin, suffering, evil, and death would know the peace, hope, love, and security that are found in Christ alone (Luke 19:10).
8. Pray for repentance. The sight of sin and evil in the world around us should not just provoke us to look at the horror of sin and evil in others, but to turn from the horror of sin and evil in each of our own hearts (2 Peter 3:9).
9. Pray for perspective. Events like these remind us that every one of our lives is a mist—here for a moment and gone tomorrow (James 4:14). We all stand on the porch of eternity, so let’s pray that today we might live for what’s going to matter forever.
10. Pray for the coming of Christ. My son said to me this morning, “Dad, at least we’re in a safe place in the world,” to which I responded, “Son, unfortunately there is no safe place in this world.” But then I told him, “The good news though, buddy, is that one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth where everything will be safe.” Let’s pray and plead for the coming of that day (Revelation 22:20).
David Platt is the president of the International Mission Board (IMB), Teaching Pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington D.C., and founder of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.