Prayers of the People

Brothers and sisters,

This week I want us to just take some time to pray for all of the various things that are happening or have happened within the last few weeks. It seems like the news cycles have been particularly difficult and so I would ask you to take some time and pray for folks all over the country. Use my suggestions below as starters if you’d like to, but then take some time to speak to God and ask for God’s grace in all of this.

For the people of Hawaii. The search and rescue process continues on the island of Maui after the wildfires. The process of identifying bodies drags on, particularly because so many of the bodies crumble when touched in any way. Pray for the people who have lost loved ones. Pray for the people who have not heard yet whether their loved one is among the dead. Pray for the rescuers as they continue to do this work that is hard physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Pray for the people of Hawaii as a collective as they process the trauma, the grief, the tragedy of all of this.

For the people of Jacksonville, Florida. They are reeling from the rampage of someone who espoused truly hateful, bigoted views about our brothers and sisters in the black community. Pray for the family of the shooter as they grieve the loss of their loved one and must deal with who he turned out to be. Pray for the families of the victims as they now have to deal with the grief and the trauma of losing someone they loved so suddenly and so violently. Pray for the people of Jacksonville, as they process their grief.

For the UNC community. They are also reeling from a senseless shooting and the death of a young, bright scholar. The university is doing their best to care for the students, but pray for everyone there at Carolina right now. Pray for the students who were in Caudill Laboratories as it happened. Pray for all those students who had to lock down and wonder for hours what was happening. Pray for the elementary, middle, and high school kids who also had to lockdown during the manhunt. Pray for the family of Zijie Yan, the professor who was killed, as they grieve his loss. And pray for the family of Tailei Qi, the shooter, as they grieve and grapple with what he has done.

Finally, pray for the people of Keaton Beach, Florida and the surrounding area. Hurricane Idalia has made landfall there and as I write this article, 1 person has been declared dead and 286,000 people are without power. Pray for everyone in the path of the storm. There will be property damage, loss of life, and so many other things they’ll have to deal with over the next days, weeks, months. Pray that they would receive the help they need. Pray for everyone who has lost or will lose a loved one. Pray for all those who have lost or will lose their homes. Pray for that community, that they can come together and help one another in the wake of this storm.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Ben