As we are still reeling from the horrific news we had to wake up Sunday morning to I thought I would take time out and share a few thoughts and then to close it with my pastor’s prayer he gave this past Tuesday at the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce.
You know, we are all confronted with lots of good and bad moments in our lives. This one from the early hours of Sunday, June 12th was just senseless, pure evil. To think for one minute that those that were killed went out this night thinking, believing that they would be back to their homes after they had been out. Yet, to have some coward take out guns and mow them down like they were mannequins is just unthinkable.
There are many wonderful organizations, both government related and Christian faith based that have reached out with their hands and arms and have wrapped them around any individual that needs some comforting. There have been monetary donation sites set up, food handed out to those that have been both grieving and donating to the blood bank for those in desperate need of it while in the hospitals.
This is the time to show your true colors–the time for love and prayer for healing, not the place for admonishing one’s belief or sexual orientation. Christ loves all His people, good or bad. We are to be His servants providing that light during this difficult time of understanding.
This prayer can also be found on Dr. Furr’s blog site: The Flat Pickin’ Pilgrim’s Progress.
Prayer by Dr. Gary Furr, Pastor, Vestavia Hills Baptist Church
Offered at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon,
June 14, 2016 Vestavia Hills, Alabama
Oh God our Creator and Lord
We come to this regular gathering–but today is no ordinary day.
The parade of mass killings in our nation has become all too familiar,
But still, it horrifies us—and now, A nightclub full of young people and their friends shot down for nothing more than the rantings of a demented man, a mind full of lies and twisted truths, in the name of religion.
We pray today for these victims and their families— not gay or straight, black or white, Democrat or Republican, Christian or Jew or Muslim or none of the above, but as You see them–beloved sons, daughters, friends, sisters, brothers, neighbors, and most of all, fellow Americans.
We grieve with broken hearts for the dead, and their parents and siblings and grandparents, for doctors and nurses and responders and those who donate and care for them.
We pray for people who listen to empty ideologies of hate and choose to see us as enemies because they are afraid of the great gift of freedom and of the competition of ideas.
We thank you for the blessings of life and Liberty for freedom of religion and conscience the freedom to dissent and disagree argue and raise our voices and still sit at table together.
We pray at this time of seeking leadership that you would guide each of us.
Let leadership rise up in every corner that we would find courage to speak out, Grant us wisdom to speak calmly and truthfully, and not merely from the anxiety of those around us, and the principled confidence to speak for all and not merely ourselves,
May our children see us love one another as You do, and be unafraid to do what is right,
Send thundering avalanches of kindness upon us
A tidal wave of civic virtue and principled honor within us
An earthquake of courage and sacrificial spirit
A floodtide of understanding and patience born of confidence in truth,
And may they bring forth deeds of righteousness and peace
that drown out all narrow bigotry, convenience and hate.
We pray for the leadership of our state of Alabama in a time when we are
passing through great crisis of confidence.
We pray for all those who lead to have the courage of service
rather than the spirit of entitlement.
Perhaps it is not even necessary for us any longer to speak of
“hating the sin and loving the sinner.”
for you alone are judge of the world, and our own sins are equally repugnant.
Let us instead simply seek to love you with all our heart
and love our neighbor as ourselves,
leaving judgment in your wise care, knowing that You will execute it faithfully.
So with a deeper sense of urgency we ask
that you might bless this meal, and bless America
and that in this time, as in all times,
that You might out of the most terrible deeds of evil
bring forth unexpected surprises of Hope and grace and blessing.