Sometimes it’s the people who feel they aren’t heard who make the loudest noise.
Today, December 14, 2012, one of the worst school shootings in history occurred. As of now, 27 are dead by the hands of Adam Lanza, including school children, his own mother, and Lanza himself. These aren’t abstract people. These are children whose parents had bought them their Christmas presents already. I am sure every parent’s heart has been wrung thinking of today’s event.
I am seeing Facebook and Twitter being littered with heartfelt sympathies and political indecencies. Many of my Christian friends are posting that their prayers are going out to the families of the victims and all involved. Some (though fewer) are also sending their prayers to Adam Lanza and his family.
Prayer is a funny thing. Prayer is talking to God – simplest definition. And though I have heard many sermons on prayer, I still don’t fully understand the complexities of it.
How often should I pray?
Is listening and meditating also a part of prayer?
Should I talk to God as if He were a friend or as if He were royalty?
Should action follow certain prayers?
As much as we pray for things, I am sure there is a time where God in turn wants us to be the answer to someone’s prayers. Whether it’s a simple compliment, or a sum of money, or a prayer in itself strung with encouragement, I think that God uses humans to answer prayers. It shows our obedience as much as it shows His sovereignty. God has used even an ass to answer a prayer (Numbers 22:22-41).
I think it would be a foolish thing to think that Adam Lanza had never said a prayer. And it’s humbling for me to think that maybe there is someone like Adam whose prayer I am supposed to answer. I know it might sound far-fetched or unrealistic, but we as Christians are to be a light to the world. And maybe someone had been a light that he resisted (as there is free will). But I feel like someone who is willing to make such a loud commotion is someone who feels like he has never been heard.
I don’t think it’s an excuse.
I don’t think what he did was excusable.
But are we willing to be a light in the darkness? Are we willing to realize that we might be part of the blame, because we are so focused on ourselves that we don’t realize the people who are shouting for hope, shouting for love…
Shouting for an answer to prayer?