A Cry to End Political Hostilities…
Photo: In a rare show of solidarity, members of the Republican and Democratic teams gather at second base for prayer before the start of the Congressional Baseball Game, June 15, 2017. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Praying for unity and healing of our land
Out of the tragic shooting of members of the Republican congressional baseball team last week, a cry has come forth from our nation’s capital to end the political hostilities…to bring back civility and productivity in solving our nation’s serious issues.
When members of both parties gathered for prayer before the annual charity baseball game held the day after the June 14 shooting, some in the crowd mocked. President Trump’s pre-game video message of unity was reportedly met with boos by congressional staffers in attendance.
Let us continue to ask God for healing for those wounded in the shooting, for political hostilities to end, and for a new unity to emerge in our nation.
The attack hits home
The assault uniquely impacted two Arizona lawmakers. Senator Jeff Flake was on the Alexandria, Virginia, ball field with the GOP team when the gunman opened fire. After seeking shelter in the dugout, Sen. Flake helped treat an aide who had been shot. He then ran onto the field where stricken House Majority Whip Steve Scalise lay near second base, applying pressure to his colleague’s gunshot wound until EMTs arrived.
It was later revealed that Representative Trent Franks, who was not with the team at the ballpark, was included in a list of GOP leaders that was found in the gunman’s pocket. Congressman Franks will deliver a Watchmen Briefing on the state of the state and nation at BridgeBuilders’ Friends and Partners Luncheon on July 7. As he comes to Phoenix, let’s continue to pray for his protection spiritually, mentally, and physically.
A time to heal, a time to build (Ecclesiastes 3:3)
“We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because above all they love our country,” said Trump in his heartfelt message.
“We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans. That our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace. That we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good.”
Let us follow our President’s leading into a new era of bipartisan solidarity, concord and agreement. We pray that our country returns to the pledge of “One nation under God, indivisible,” and what the Apostle Paul referred to as “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” to prevent additional casualties in America’s ongoing political war of words.
We pray, Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals, that You bring healing for all those wounded in this attack.
Dear Father, we lift before You all those wounded in the shooting: Rep. Steve Scalise, Capitol Hill police officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner, lobbyist Matt Mika, and congressional staffer Zachary Barth. We ask You to bring them to complete and total recovery in spirit, mind and body. Thank You for the skill of the first responders, surgeons and teams of medical professionals who worked together to treat them.
Lord, we also pray that all targeted by this act of violence lead us in unifying our country by example, and practice Your grace and forgiveness.
We seek your protection for our leaders and government administrators.
Dear Lord, we are thankful for the protection You have extended to our nation and its leaders. We humbly ask that You continue to watch over our President and all members of our government, wherever they may be. Draw them to Yourself and remind them they can always run to the strong tower of Your Son, Jesus, for protection and shelter. We thank You for the skill and heroism displayed by the law enforcement officers present at the shooting, and for all of our country’s first responders, who bring You glory as they sacrificially keep us all safe.
Lord, we ask You to raise up a shield of protection around those found on the shooter’s published list of targets, including our own Arizona congressman, Rep. Trent Franks. Lord, we declare that You are their refuge and fortress (Psalm 91:2), that no harm will befall them, no disaster will come near them (Psalm 91:10).
We ask that the hearts, attitudes and words of all Americans, and especially our government officials, come under Your control.
Father, by Your Spirit move upon all Americans of every political persuasion and especially those in the household of faith to help us keep our hearts and words in check. Whether we are speaking with unbelievers or to fellow Christians, and when representatives of our government are speaking in public, let us remember that our words have power to heal or destroy.
“. . . no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” (James 3:6-10)
Silence the ignorance of foolish men so all may hear Your voice. Help us to be wise representatives of Your will and to bring peace and healing with our words instead of using our words as a weapon. “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)