Our Nation Must Unite in Prayer After Las Vegas Disaster
As many gunshot victims fight for their lives, let us join together in supporting those who have been so horribly, dramatically affected
Americans awoke to the news this morning of the deadliest mass shooting to occur in our nation’s history.
More than 50 people are dead and several hundred are injured after a shooter opened fire at a country music concert on the Vegas strip. The shooter — identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock — was on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, and fired from the room into the crowd at the outdoor concert next to the hotel.
"We believe the individual killed himself," said Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on CNN.
As more details emerge and victims fight for their lives in Las Vegas this Monday morning, there is a profound need for prayer and healing. During this period of division and contention in our nation — and now after such a heartbreaking and senseless tragedy — Americans need to join together in prayer.
So many offer "thoughts and prayers" after disasters and violence like this — but how many actually believe prayer will do anything? Our culture once showed a reverence, a respect for faith; it was the center of so many people's lives.
In 2017, we are all a little more disconnected due to social media and a materialistic culture. We think of our political differences before we think of our common human traits and experiences — this needs to end, and we can unite again in prayer and faith.
President Donald Trump spoke to the American people on Monday morning, saying in part, "To the families of the victims, we are praying for you and we are here for you. And we ask God to help see you through this very dark period."
He also said, "Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve ... Melania and I are praying for every American who has been hurt, wounded, or lost the ones they love so dearly in this terrible, terrible attack. We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace."
"And we pray for the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear," Trump added. "May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost. May God give us the grace of healing, and may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on."
"Please join me in praying for the families of those killed and for all the injured."
Many religious leaders have already reached out to offer prayers and support in the wake of this tragedy.
"Deeply saddened to learn of the shooting in Las Vegas, Pope Francis sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this senseless tragedy," reads a telegram from October 2 signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
The pope also said he is praying "for the injured and for all who have died, entrusting them to the merciful love of Almighty God."
Rev. Franklin Graham also offered his support, saying in a post on Facebook, "This morning we awoke to the tragic news that at least 50 people were killed and over 200 wounded last night in a mass shooting at a Las Vegas outdoor concert. Please join me in praying for the families of those killed and for all the injured."
Joyce Meyer, another leading evangelical, also posted a note to Facebook: "I am praying right now for the families of those who were killed last night in Las Vegas and for so many who were injured. I really want to encourage all of you this morning: Do not let fear overcome you. Do not let it steal your trust in God! Love you all."
Also: "We pray for those who are suffering, for their victims, their families, for those who are fighting for their lives right now," said Laura Ingraham, editor-in-chief of LifeZette and host of "The Laura Ingraham Show," on her radio show this morning.
May our nation unite in a new and profound way — and let us all pray for the victims and their families and help each other through crisis and tragedy, however we can.