Meditation on Global Violence and Terror
By Gwen Millns
John 1:4 & 5 New International Version (NIV)
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
In just one full month from mid-June to mid-July many major violent and terror related episodes have devastated our world: – from Cameroon to France; from Nigeria to Afghanistan; from Somalia to Lebanon; from Turkey to the West Bank; from Kenya to Dhaka; from Iraq to Saudi Arabia; from Texas to Nice – around 700 people have died and countless more have been injured. Violence has always existed in our fallen world. It has no concern for gender or age, race or creed.
Our call is to pray and commit ourselves to being living answers to those prayers. As with Nehemiah, God can and will use us to be peacemakers wherever we may be.
Lord God, You created a world that is Good
But in our sinfulness that goodness has been damaged.
Our world is broken!
Everywhere we look there is…
Anger and Mistrust,
Pain and Suffering.
Hatred and Violence,
Fear and Confusion.
At times the darkness threatens to overwhelm us.
Lord God You have redeemed your world.
In Jesus Christ you have shown us the Light that overcomes the darkness.
The Light who guides our path.
The Light who reminds us that goodness is stronger than evil.
The Light who shows us there is a better way!
A way of…
Love and Compassion,
Confidence and Hope,
Forgiveness and true Peace-making.
Lord God Your presence is with us.
Through the Holy Spirit we can experience Your power.
The Power that calms our fear.
The Power that brings comfort in our sorrow.
The Power that gives boldness to resist the darkness.
The power that gives wisdom to respond rightly in our words and our actions!
Lord God You call us to follow You…
To lament the wickedness in our world.
To build relationships that reflect Your light and love.
To actively mend bridges with our neighbours and our enemies.
To work with you to bring healing and wholeness in our communities.
To declare Your Glory and Sovereignty in our world.
Lord God, You are compassionate and merciful,
Hear our prayers for the violence that engulfs our world.
Let your presence be known in the midst of terror and chaos.
Give comfort to all who have suffered loss in the multiple, ongoing terror attacks across the globe
Bring healing to those who have been injured in body, in mind and in spirit.
Give skilful ability to those who minister to their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
Give wisdom to those who seek to overcome terror.
Speak directly to those who commit acts of violence and terror and through the power of the Holy Spirit transform their hearts and minds.
Give courage to your people that we may actively pursue peace, not simply as the absence of violence but as the shalom of right relationships.
Lord God, You are Love itself
Help us to know your Love in our lives
Help us to share your Love in our relationships
Help us to demonstrate your Love and Light in our words and actions
In Jesus name
Gwen and Andrew Millns work for BMS and are both seconded to the Bangladesh Baptist Church Sangha and her key role is with CCTB, an interdenominational college.
Image: Stained Glass II by JamesJames using a Flickr Creative Commons licence