Pray for God’s Intervention in Gun Violence
Analysis. Every mass shooting like the recent one in Uvalde, TX, understandably triggers nationwide reactions of grief, outrage, calls for tougher gun-control measures on one hand and an upsurge in firearms purchases on the other. The total number of mass shootings is 246 and the death toll at 18,800 already this year, involving churches, malls, movie theaters, hospitals, and schools.
With that being the case and the right to bear arms protected by the United States Constitution, it is understandable that many citizens purchase guns for protection against armed people with ill intent. Initially, the second amendment was aimed at arming citizens to form carefully regulated militias, but over time, perhaps partly due to increasing violence in everyday life, the operative clause “to keep and bear arms” has been interpreted by our nation’s courts as the right of U.S. citizens to carry weapons, not necessarily for militias.
It makes the U.S. unique in the world. No other nation has the civilian’s right to carry weapons written into its constitution, and for few, if any, nations has gun-ownership played such a significant role in its development.
According to recent statistics, there are currently over 400 million guns in America, 98% of which are owned by civilians. Forbes.com states at least 20 million of guns in circulation are assault rifles. The primary reason for gun ownership appears to be self-defense, which seems like clear evidence that an increasing number of Americans are in fear of their lives.
The overwhelming majority of police officers supports the Second Amendment and favors civilian gun ownership, despite a growing number of line-of-duty deaths involving firearms. During my years of service as a police chaplain, I regularly discussed this with ranking officers and most would say that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun before the police arrives is a good guy with a gun.
The argument has been posed as well that guns don’t kill people, people do. In other words, the problem does not lie in the number and type of firearms in circulation, but in the number of people with ill intent that use them. That has been countered by the argument that the ready availability of guns does make it easier for people to kill people. Perhaps this is where rights should meet responsibility. The privilege of being able to carry a gun should go hand in hand with the responsibility of using it safely, and for the right reasons.
From these arguments and the alarming increase in gun violence and mass shootings, one thing appears clear: the proliferation of guns, and a population that is increasingly anxious, stressed out, and in the grip of mental and emotional disorders, are a deadly combination.
Perhaps that is why the debate has shifted from “gun control” to “gun safety” and the realization that more must be done for our nation’s mental health and well-being. The bi-partisan gun safety measures that were on the move through the House and Senate this week and that President Biden vowed to sign reflect that realization. However, because the Second Amendment specifically states that the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed, laws restricting the possession of firearms may be struck down as unconstitutional.
The only direction that is wide open for the government is to recognize that we are a stressed-out nation and to heavily invest in mental and emotional well-being in the home, in schools, in the wider community, and in the workplace.
But even that will have limited effect. National, state, and county governments should do what they can to promote mental health and work-life balance, but with a population of nearly 330 million, their reach will be limited. It appears that complete eradication of gun violence and the restoration of safety and well-being lies beyond our human ability.
That is why, as intercessors who have access to the Throne of Grace all day every day to receive help in times of trouble (see Hebrews 4:16), we must pray for God’s intervention in the escalating gun violence in our nation. We recognize that our battle is not one of flesh and blood, but that there are forces of evil bent on destruction of humanity behind every flesh-and-blood problem (Ephesians 6:12, John 10:10).
Above all, we come with solid faith that God has ordained to work mightily through the prayers of His people (see Isaiah 37:2). Like Hezekiah’s Jerusalem, we are a nation under siege by anger, stress, hatred, violence, and death. Like Hezekiah, we know not to try to fight that with human means, but to turn to the Creator of the universe and the Father of nations in prayer to do what is impossible for man and beyond what we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
I invite you to join with me in pleading with God for His intervention in gun violence. Here are some pertinent things to bring before Him:
- For healing and comfort to come to those who lost loved ones to gun violence.
- For our leaders, at every level, to receive divine wisdom to fund and develop effective initiatives that will promote mental health at every age level.
- For the passing and support of measures that will improve safe gun use by civilians.
- For God to open the heart of every gun owner to embrace safety as their priority.
- For those who have purchased guns illegally or with the intentions to commit acts of violence to be exposed and stripped of their guns and come to repentance.
- For a popular desire to restore law and order to our nation.
- For territorial spirits inciting violence in those struggling with mental illness to be bound, banished and make way for God’s Kingdom in the hearts of the American people.
And perhaps, most importantly:
For the fear and grief over the rise in mass shootings to bring people to the realization that we need Christ, who alone can bring peace, wisdom, protection, and stability, in the words of Isaiah 33:5,6: “The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure.”
“Father of Nations, we stand in the gap together on behalf of our troubled nation. We ask that you open doors and hearts for widespread initiatives toward mental health, as well as safe gun use. Awaken in the heart of every American the desire to return to you, walk with you, to beat weapons of death into plowshares, and resist the devil who is using the perfect storm of stress and the proliferation of guns to tear us apart. As your appointed priests and watchmen on the wall, we pave the way today, asking to do what is impossible with man. Bring comfort to those who have suffered loss. Give wisdom to our government leaders and give your Church vision of how to lead the way in reversing the trends of violence and restoring peace and safety. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.”
How are you praying for an end to gun violence? Share your thoughts and prayers below.
Author Remco Brommet is a pastor, spiritual growth teacher, and prayer leader with over 40 years’ experience in Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the US. Born and raised in the Netherlands and pastoring his first church in Amsterdam, he moved to the US in 1986. He and his wife Jennifer currently live north of Atlanta, GA When not writing books, he blogs and assists his wife as content developer and prayer coordinator for True Identity Ministries. Jennifer and Remco are passionate about bringing people into a deeper relationship with Christ. Photo Credit: Maxim Hopman on Unsplash.
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