There is one aspect of 2015 that I am thankful to say goodbye to though, and that is the most violent and murderous year the city of Louisville has seen in decades.
81 people have been murdered this year (over half are unsolved) at the time I am writing this. 81 people. Stop and think about that. 81 people who should have lived to see 2016 but because of someone’s decisions, they are no longer here.
As Christians, we should not just shrug our shoulders and hope that “at least it’s not our kids or family”. The biggest thing we can do is something that every Christian can do, Pray.
I already hear the haters. People are quick to down play the power of prayer. But in the words of a great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, “… [The] power of prayer can never be overrated.… If a man can but pray he can do anything. He who knows how to overcome with God in prayer has Heaven and earth at his disposal.”
Prayer is powerful!
In the same token though, I remember the words of Frederick Douglass when he desired freedom from the bondage of slavery. He said, “I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” What the world wants to see is not just Christians who will say that they are praying for this or that person. That comes across as a cop-out for why we as Christians don’t want to be involved. We need to BE praying and also BE proactive with seeking to find solutions to this violence.
I am calling on all Christians in Louisville, Kentucky to pray for our city.
Pray for the families of those who have been murdered. The sons and daughters who will not have a mother or father. The parents who never got to see their child graduate high school and have to endure the nightmare of any parent, burying a child.
Pray for us who are missing on 81 gifted citizens of Louisville who could have been the next Councilwoman, Mayor, Pastors or teachers in our communities. We are missing out by not having these people here.
Pray for our leaders. These are trying times. We know that not all leaders have the common good of the community as their best interest but thankfully our city does have a lot of good leaders who want to see these numbers decrease, to see these murders solved and to see justice served. We gotta pray for our leaders that they would be given wisdom on how to deal with these problems instead of just having a bunch of meetings. We gotta pray that God would show them how to reach those most being influenced towards gun violence.
Pray for those who are doing the killing. We are all created in God’s image. Each one of us are tied together through our creator because we are created in his image. When someone easily and casually takes the life of another, they are becoming numb to the value of an image bearer. God created the person who was killed and the killer. The killer needs to know that God loves them and that he brings hope to the hopeless. He can change a heart of stone. He is a God who saves sinners, me being the worst of all.
Let our actions stem from our prayers. Let’s pray without ceasing by getting up and praying as we walk into our community. Let’s pray as we seek to mentor youth in our communities. Let’s pray as we strategize ways to eliminate the drug epidemic in our city. Let’s pray as we seek to have camera’s put in our alleys. Let’s pray as we seek to eliminate hazardous materials being shipped and sold in our community where children are playing in the streets. Let’s pray as we begin to hold parents accountable for their kids’ actions on our buses. Let’s pray as we demonstrate to gang members how retaliating with violence is going to affect their little brothers, little sisters and their future children.
As for now
Last night, as I was about to fall asleep, I heard the noises I dread hearing but hear daily, “pop pop pop”. After checking to see that all my family was safe, I thought about this blog post. I realized that one of the few things that I can do about all of this madness is the most powerful thing that I can do, that is pray.