Five things to pray after the Manchester attack

Rachel Jones | May 23rd 2017

Photo credit: 'MEN Arena & Strangeways Prison' by Mikey on Flickr (image cropped)

Perhaps your heart broke as you switched on the news this morning and saw pictures of last night’s terror attack in Manchester. But if you’re a Christian, you’re not powerless to help—you can pray. You have the ear of the God of the universe; so here are five things to ask him, based on Psalm 56.

1. For those in danger

“Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack” (v 1).

Pray for those people whose lives are in danger right now, as they lie critically ill in hospital or are separated from their family. Ask God to show mercy to them and protect them.

2. For the fearful

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (v 3).

Last night’s events make us feel vulnerable. We start to worry that something like that could happen to us, or to the people we love. Thank God that when we’re trusting in Christ, we do not need to fear death; we can say confidently with David, “What can mere mortals do to me?” (v 4). Pray for some specific people you know who are afraid of a world that seems out of control—ask that this sense of helplessness would drive them to the Lord, who is in control.

3. For the wicked

“Because of their wickedness do not let them escape; in your anger, God, bring the nations down” (v 7).

Ask God to help the police and intelligence service identify whether anyone else was involved in planning this attack, and to find them and bring them to justice. Thank God that no wickedness will ultimately go unpunished, since one day everyone will face his perfect justice.

4. For the grieving

“Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll—are they not in your record?” (v 8)

Thank God that he hears the cries of those who are mourning—not one tear shed will be forgotten or unaccounted for in God’s faultless reckoning of the world on judgment day. Ask him to comfort the grieving in their misery, especially with this promise.

5. For survivors

“You have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life” (v 13).

The news brings reports of casualties—but it tells stories of survivors too. So thank God for those he has delivered from physical death. Ask God to extend his spiritual rescue to them too—that they would come to see Jesus as the light of the world, and spend the rest of their life walking with him.

Adapted from 5 Things to Pray for Your World: Prayers That Change Things for Your Community, Your Nation, and the Wider World by Rachel Jones (Out September 1).

Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones is the author of A Brief Theology of Periods (Yes, really), Is This It?, and several books in the award-winning Five Things to Pray series, and serves as Vice President (Editorial) at The Good Book Company. She helps teach kids and serves on the mission core team at her church, King's Church Chessington, in Surrey, UK.

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