One time visiting a friend in Texas, many years ago, I saw a book in the house called “Stuff You Don’t Have To Pray About.” It was written for teens and was a list of things that Christians did not need to pray about because the answers were already in the Bible. I thought it was genius.
It was full of things like dating non-Christians, taking care of your health, and scores of issues related to teen life. But I think it’s time to make an adult version and here’s why: We should never ask God to do something that we can do ourselves.
I bring this up only because I’m tired of praying for Orgeon, for Sandy Hook, for San Bernardino, or the next shooting scheduled this week.
We have options at our disposal to help prevent such things yet our congress refuses to act. We have countless examples in the UK, Australia, Japan, Canada, and other places, demonstrating the effectiveness of comprehensive gun and mental health laws.
Even the most basic common sense legislative action, background checks, have been refused by the current congress, despite being overwhelmingly supported by the US population.
We allow mentally insane people to have military grade weapons and unlimited ammunition yet when they shoot up groups pf innocent people we have the audacity to be shocked and ask God to fix it.
We might not be able to prevent all shootings but doing nothing when we could at least prevent some shootings is shameful. The brother of Jesus wrote,
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? (James 2:14-16)
Likewise it is time to stop praying for victims of mass shootings and do something. We may not fix it all at once or fix it entirely but the same is true for poverty and Jesus still calls us to serve thr poor. Doing nothing about gun voilence will never resolve the issue. Prayer must also be accompanied by action.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying either. I am not saying we need to ban all guns. But do we really need to let just anyone purchase a weapon that can blow away half of a movie theater? Do people really need 1400 rounds of amor piercing bullets? Should anyone be allowed to posses automatic weapons powerful enough to take down a police force?
Our obsession in this country with the fantasy that the government might one day become a tyranical disctatorship and have military backing, so therefore everyone needs assault rifles and rocket launchers, is childish. Even more than that, it’s an insult to the military. To think that our loved ones serving in the military would for some reason run a coup against the people they are serving and protecting is just foolish.
Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword (Matthew 26:52)