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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Victim or Perpetrator, We’ll Pray for You.

This week I spent a long time reading over the police and fire bulletins for East Baton Rouge Parish. I've learned that you can not read crime reports for a long time without feeling an overwhelming despair. In fact, there really are only two ways to read through the stories of crime and loss without falling into depression. (Really, there are three, but the third is exclusively for the evil man.)*

One way is to become desensitized. That is, to just not feel it anymore. To not care. To be apathetic. To just gloss over it and move on. The human heart is meant to feel, and this is a defense mechanism. We love to avoid pain. Most people will simply choose not to care. If they can not do that, they will chose not to know, and skip the reading altogether.

The better way is to become prayerful. As you read the news, read it with God. Comment to him, plead his mercy, confess sin, ask for justice, claim his promises, and seek his command for you to be a helper in times of despair. This is much harder to do. I find that I have to force myself sometimes.

A good example is the undercover video series about the abortion industry. I have had to psyche myself up before I could watch the videos. They drain me emotionally. If I do not turn to God in prayer, I am sent into a dark place emotionally. I am overwhelmed and feel defeated. My desire is just to not watch, to not know. Out of sight, out of mind.
But somebody has to stand in the gap. Jesus stood in the gap on our behalf, and now calls us to continue his work or proclaiming repentance of sins, forgiveness, justice and reconciliation. For this, we must watch and pray. This is hard work, but noble and right.

The only way to face the future with bold assurance is to seek the face of the one who lives.

In a few days, I will post about a ministry we are working on at Stevendale Baptist Church that takes this concept and applies it in a practical ministry. That post will be on

*(The third way to read crime reports and not fall into a despair is that of the evil man. He takes pleasure in the evil that others do and the sufferings that others experience. He wants to see the violence and death, because he likes it. This is the way of the Evil One, and is full proof of a reprobate and lost heart.)