PraiseThough it is difficult, start with praise. Focus on God’s character.
- Praise God that He is sovereign, that He has ultimate control over it all, and that nothing takes Him by surprise (Is. 45:5-7).
- Ask God to use this situation to bring unprecedented spiritual openness to people affected by the tragedy, and ask Him to show His face to them.
- Ask God to bless the ministry that will be thrust upon the church(es) or community affected by the tragedy. Ask Him to empower them with a powerful witness when they are called upon to speak about or reflect on the situation.
- Ask God to stand against the enemy’s attempts to make families experience unresolved anger or guilt over the loss of loved ones.
- Ask God to focus the minds of public officials on the need for prayer and to provide people who will continue to pray for the situation.
- Ask God to equip leaders who will be called upon to mentor and minister to people in the aftermath of tragedy (Heb. 13:20-21).
- Ask God—for yourself and others—for a passion and love for Christ that drives out fear (1 Jn. 4:18).
- Thank God that the enemy has made a tactical error since persecution/trial has always strengthened the Church, and that God will use for good what Satan has intended for harm (Gen. 50:20-21).
- Thank God for the people who will be drawn to seek God’s face because the overwhelming nature of the tragedy leaves them nowhere else to turn (Jon. 2:1-9).
- Thank God for a vivid reminder of your own mortality and vulnerability, asking Him to prepare your heart and spirit for a faithful response when you are faced with tragedy personally.
- In the case of martyrs: thank God for the blood of martyred victims, whose number will reveal God’s ultimate glory (see Rev. 6:9).