decreasing or eliminating these random acts of violence.
I am not against gun control, but I don’t see it as the sole answer, or even the primary answer, to the problem that has been manifested. It could reasonably be argued that if people did not have access to guns they would still find a way to act out their aggression. There are other ways to kill people, individually or in groups. We cannot control all the means available.
The people responsible for killings of this type have been disturbed individuals, obviously. Some were known to the local mental health professionals; others were not receiving any kind of treatment. I applaud the mental health practitioners and the parents and other loved ones who made every attempt to help these disturbed individuals. I’m sure they are heartbroken about the death and destruction of lives. But people who need help can’t be watched 24 hours a day or locked away on the possibility that they might commit a crime. There is no known cure for many mental illnesses, depression, anger or other factors that lead people to commit such atrocities. So, unfortunately, better mental health care is not the answer either.
Since gun control and better mental health care are not the answer, what is? I would like to challenge Christians to unite against violence. How? Through prayer. Jesus said, “With God all things are possible.” Why don’t we take him at his word? I propose that we each choose one person to pray for daily who might be at risk for violence. But we must do so out of love, without passing judgment on them. If you don’t know of anyone personally, ask a teacher which one of their students they would most like prayer for – perhaps a bully or the victim of a bully, a child with a learning disability, or an unstable home life. Are all of these people prone to violence later in life?
Of course not. But we can still do incalculable good to those for whom we pray (Eph 3:20).
How ought we to pray for these people we have chosen? Pray blessings on them (Rom 15:13, Eph 1:16-20, Eph 5:1-2, Philippians 1:9-11). Pray that they choose life ( Dt 30: 15-16, 19-20); pray that they have life to the full (John 10:10), pray that they know God as their refuge and help in times of trouble (Dt 33:27, Ps 2:12, Ps 9:9, Ps 18:2, Ps 36:7, Ps 46:1, Ps 91:2). Pray for an increase of the fruit of the Spirit in their life (Gal 5:22-26). Pray for peace in their life (John 14:27, Luke 24:36). And pray above all that they be healed in body, mind and spirit. For after all, we are one body in Christ. What we pray for them, we also pray for ourselves.
There is a way to overcome violence because with God all things are possible. Let us unite in prayer.