It is far too easy to get wrapped up in negativity, anger, worry and endless spirals of blame when it comes to the horrendous violence wrought this weekend by two different shooters in two different cities to two different groups of innocent Americans — in El Paso, Texas, and in Dayton, Ohio.
But Dr. James Dobson, host of the radio program, “Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk,” shared messages of faith over the weekend on his social media — asking Christians and other worshippers of God to pray for all those affected by the acts of hate and violence toward others.
“Please pray for the victims and all those affected by the mass shooting today at a mall in El Paso, Texas,” he wrote on Saturday.
And on Sunday, he wrote — just as simply and directly — something similar: “Please pray for the victims and all those affected by the mass shooting last night in Dayton, Ohio.”
There was no blaming, no pointing of fingers, no anger — and no politicization.
There was only the strong plea to pray.
Dobson knows something about families, about faith, about grace. He is a celebrated psychologist, Christian leader, and founder and president of The James Dobson Family Institute (JDFI), which is dedicated to preserving the biblical institutions of marriage and family by encouraging, inspiring, supporting, and leading parents and children to build their lives on God’s Word. He and his wife have two children and two grandchildren.
“Please have mercy on our nation, sweet Lord.”
Readers responded to his messages and shared hundreds of their own comments and sentiments — all worth thinking about as the nation comes to grips with what happened this weekend and tries to move forward in a thoughtful, constructive, healing way.
Here are 12 of their comments.
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1.) “I also pray for the people who have never been taught about the sanctity of life, from pre-birth all the way through to the honored elderly. These shootings show the need for the message of Jesus in the lives of people today. If people don’t know the God who created them, how can they honor life?”
2.) “Praying for healing after these mass shootings in Texas and Ohio! Rest in peace to all those killed — and prayers for their family and friends.”
3.) “If my people that are called by my name would humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land. Amen.”
4.) “Praying. Please have mercy on our nation, sweet Lord.”
5.) “So sad that people have chosen to misuse guns and hurt so many people. Prayers for all families affected.”
6.) “Prayers for the families involved in [these massacres] and for the madness we are [enduring] in this world. People need Jesus in their lives urgently!”
7.) “Please, God, help our nation through this trying time. Give our leaders strength, wisdom, gravitas and common sense. Guide them through tough times. Heal the hurting families. Bless our police and first responders who put their own lives on the line to help save and take care of others. Help the hurting — and that includes those struggling with mental illness. Amen.”
8.) “Thank God for the law enforcement [professionals] who prevented more casualties — and God strengthen the families and community.”
9.) “Please pray to stop the murders at abortion clinics that [amounts to] thousands more [killed] than [at] mass shootings — and it’s still legalized.”
10.) “Dear Lord, we pray for your peace for the victims and their families. Lord, please remove the evil in our midst. Thank you, Lord.”
11.) “Prayers for the families and medical staff. So sad.”
12.) “Praying for God’s comfort and peace.”
Share your own thoughts below.