I’ve blogged before on the anniversaries of 9/11. Words are always hard to come by when I think of this national tragedy that has so altered the world I live in. Today, I’m revisiting what I wrote two years ago because I believe these words are still what I need to be saying and doing.
Where were you when . . .
In my lifetime, there have been several of those pivotal, unforgettable moments that are seared into the minds and hearts of many. JFK’s assassination. The Challenger explosion. 9/11.
Five years ago, I sat on the sofa, my heart and mind crying out against the images I saw on TV. I live far, far away from New York City, but on that day, I became in some small way, as did many others, a New Yorker. In an instant of horror too much to believe, my innocence was snatched away from me, never to return. As a nation, we cared deeply for those who lost much. We reached out. We gave to others. For a period of time, we were united as a nation.
Sadly, our resolve has weakened with time. We were told that the war on terror would take time and sacrifice and that it would be unlike any war we’d fought before. At the time, the nation said we would take the time, expend the effort. But we Americans are too often a spoiled, impatient people who want everything in an instant and without emotional or physical cost. We have become a people who too often claim we are responsible for nothing. We often blame our bad habits and wrong actions on others (our parents, our siblings, the mean kids we went to school with, the coffee that was too hot at McDonalds). Hateful accusations are flung about with reckless abandon toward anyone who doesn’t agree with our politics or our philosophies or our religion.
And so today I ask myself: When was the last time I prayed for blessing and wisdom for President Bush and others in authority? Too long. Too seldom. Shame on me. I should be doing it daily. If I want to walk in obedience to God, I need to pray faithfully.
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow. (Romans 13:1-3)
The authorities are established by God for that very purpose, to punish those who do wrong. So you must obey the government for two reasons: to keep from being punished and to keep a clear conscience. (Romans 13:4-5)
For the Lord’s sake, accept all authority — the king as head of state, and the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish all who do wrong and to honor those who do right. (1 Peter 2:13-14)
If you would like to pray for the Lord’s protection against and defeat of terrorists, here is a great way to start. Brandilyn Collins at Forensics & Faith is using Psalm 10 for that very purpose.
In the grip of His grace,