The tragic events that took place at Chardon High School is still before the people of our community. Yesterday was the funeral of Demetrius and tomorrow is the funeral of Russell. With that in mind, I thought I would share my prayer that I wrote out for our service on Sunday morning. Please realize this is a prayer that I specifically wrote for our church on that Sunday. I am not saying it should be your prayer. I am not saying it is the right prayer. It was my heart for our people as they are dealing with this tragedy.
It is difficult to make sense of these events this past week. Our hearts have been tested and have often failed in our trust in You. But we come this morning and ask for help. We are asking that you give us comfort. We are asking that you give the families that have been touched by this nonsense some moments of comfort. We pray specifically for the families of Daniel, Nick, & Demetrius. Not many people can really understand what they are going through at this moment. But we know you do. We know you know what it is like to have Your Son die. And so we pray that you would reveal your truth and plan for them through this tragedy.
We also pray for TJ Lane and his family. We pray that somehow the gospel would be preached to this young man and his family and he would embrace Jesus as his only hope. Father, it is in moments like this that it is difficult for us to fully understand what you mean that hatred is just as sinful in your eyes as murder. That just doesn’t seem right to us. But we trust you and we repent of our hatred. Let these events move us not cast stones from a distance, but to look inside our own lives as to how we are murdering people in our hearts.
And Father, I pray that these events will instill in us urgency for the spread of the gospel. None of us are promised tomorrow. It could have been us. It could have been our children. It could have been someone that we have wanted to share Jesus with and never had the courage to do it. I pray for boldness. I pray for a view beyond the temporal. I pray that we would love others with a view towards 70 million years, not 70 years. May these events move us to make the name of Jesus and his life and death more known in our community.
Father, help us move on. Give those that are hurting more grace and mercy. Help them to see and trust you in this time. We come and give our lives to you this morning and ask for your help. May the name of Jesus Christ be praised. And as Job prayed, ‘You have given and You have taken away, but blessed be Your name!’
In the name of your precious son, Jesus Christ, we pray these things. Amen!