Ashley Evans | Contributing Writer
When tragedies like this past weekend occur, it is easy to question the goodness of mankind and the safety of our world. With the Beirut twin bombings as well as the suicide bombs and shootings in Paris, social media has been flooded with French flags, prayers and sympathy as the whole world mourns with those who have been killed from these terrorist attacks.
Through these heart-breaking and troubling times, it is interesting that phrases and photos are being headlined “Pray for Paris” across all social media platforms.
In a world where Christianity is growing less and less popular and where Christians aren’t taken seriously, why is it that when tragedy strikes, prayer becomes so crucial?
During this time of grief, Christ followers have a duty to mourn with those who are mourning, to go alongside the brokenhearted and to uplift one another in prayer. However, we must become a group of Christ-centered people who live to pray for this world everyday, not only when tragedy strikes.
We must learn what it means to actively pray during times of tragedy, such as Paris and Beirut, but learn also to pray for our enemies, for Syria, for the ones who planted bombs and carried guns, for the leaders of this world, for Africa, for Christians around the world, for safety, for America, for terrorists, for suffering families and for wounded survivors.
We must learn to love and embrace the world with compassionate and empathetic arms, just as Christ would.
In Christianity Today, Ed Stetzer wrote an article titled, “We Are All Parisians Now: A Christian Response to Global Terror and Radical Islam” where he writes the three things Christians must rise up to do during these times as well as the three things Christians must refrain from during times like these.
“We feel pain for those on the other side of the ocean. We feel anger toward an evil that we cannot control. We remember what it feels like to live in a nation under attack… But the truth is, we are people who live with hope and who live with a mission. We cannot hate a people and reach a people at the same time. As we pray, we must pray for our own hearts to be protected from hate,” said Stetzer.
Perhaps one of the greatest roles as Christians during this time of suffering is to go against the grain of hatred and to flood the world with love, even for those who don’t deserve it. If secular society fills social media with #PrayforParis, then we too as Christians should be passionately and fervently praying, loving and serving all the more.