Summary: this is Pt3 of a 7 part series on learning to pray from the bible. this one is focused on the boston bombing.
Learning to Pray
Pt.3 Psalms: A Prayer for Justice
There are times in life where there are no words. Like a gift that is unexpected and just what you needed… When she said yes… When a child takes your hand and looks up at you and smiles… When you see the sun set over Lake Michigan on a warm summer evening…
There are also those times in life when there are no words for other reasons. Watching the towers fall on 9/11. Seeing the gaping hole that used to be a building in OKC. When you heard the number of young people killed at Columbine, V.T. and Sandy Hook Elementary. And now this past week we have Boston to which, we have no real words to express, no understanding, just violence and pain.
As a result of the bombings in Boston lives have been shattered, parents mourn, brothers and sisters are maimed, because of the violence of evil men. A seemingly normal day transformed into a day we will not soon forget- the scenes will be etched in our memory forever.
The question on everyone’s lips is the question we have asked over and over again when things like this happen: why? How is that evil is allowed to rip and tear at innocents, to run rampant, so we ask why, but what we really want to know is where is God? Where is God when things like this happen?
We can understand accidents, we can deal with disasters, even illness and disease… but when it comes to acts of violence, we want answers!
We have been talking about prayer for a couple of weeks now, specifically how to pray. When it comes to tragedy in life how do you go about praying about it? What do you say? How do you say it? If there is one thing I believe it is that we should be praying for those affected by the events of this past week, but I also believe that that we should be praying for how it affects us! Let me ask you, how do you feel when you see these kinds of events unfold on TV? Are you angry? Do you want justice? Does it make you scared? Or worried? What does it make you feel?
As I have been saying, God wants to hear from you, he wants you to connect with him. So how do we connect with God when we feel such anger? When we are scared? When all we want is justice? For that, I say turn to the Psalms. The Psalms is a book of prayers that has everything from super happy good time prayers to prayers of dashing our enemies children’s heads on the rocks! From times of blessing and peace, to anger and despair. Today, let’s look at Psalm 10.
1O LORD, why do you stand so far away?
Why do you hide when I am in trouble?
2The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor.
Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others.
3For they brag about their evil desires;
they praise the greedy and curse the LORD.
4The wicked are too proud to seek God.
They seem to think that God is dead.
5Yet they succeed in everything they do.
They do not see your punishment awaiting them.
They sneer at all their enemies.
6They think, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us!
We will be free of trouble forever!”
7Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats.
Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues.
8They lurk in ambush in the villages,
waiting to murder innocent people.
They are always searching for helpless victims.
9Like lions crouched in hiding,
they wait to pounce on the helpless.
Like hunters they capture the helpless
and drag them away in nets.
10Their helpless victims are crushed;
they fall beneath the strength of the wicked.
11The wicked think, “God isn’t watching us!
He has closed his eyes and won’t even see what we do!”
The Psalmist asks the question, where are you God? Why do you stand so far away? Why are you hidden? Where are you? It is a question that says, we trusted you to take care of us, why do you allow bad things to happen… Have you ever felt like God abandoned you? As if he didn’t care?
When my kids were little and we had to take them to get their shots…
They look at you and say why? Why do you let them do this? Not because they hate you, but because they trusted you—they believed that you would look out for them… and no matter how you try to explain to them why they needed the shot, it doesn’t matter, because all they feel is the fear and the pain.