Prayer Isn't Useless, A Response To The Florida School Shooting

Prayer Isn't Useless, A Response To The Florida School Shooting

It's not just another shooting and another debate on gun-control.
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Wednesday, February 14th, Valentines Day, Ash Wednesday, middle of the week, initially an average day at school but then, it ended with seventeen deaths and a young man forever being known as a monster.

Some fear that our country is becoming numb to these events. People have this idea in their minds that no one feels shocked when they hear of another school shooting. I’m only a young college student who has no idea how public policy is carried out, how the government works, or frankly, how the world works.

But, when I turn on the news, all I hear is a gun-control debate. News channels quickly bring politics into the crime scene. I turn on Fox News and then CNN and hear different things. I listen to a sound bite on the radio and hear a young girl say, “Thoughts and prayers do nothing”. And what do we gain from this? What do I feel as a result of this tragedy?

Disappointment. Within hours of hearing of the school shooting, news outlets already chose sides. Some labeled this a result of Republican negligence to stricter gun laws while others chose to mock the statements released by the President and others. Media took the opportunity to call for government action which forced it to become a political issue. Media handling of this issue only resulted in frustration. And this frustration leads to people believing that prayer is useless, government is the answer.

But, prayer isn’t useless and government isn’t the answer. Who gave the leaders of our government their power? God did. Who aligned everything perfectly so that they would be elected into their position? God. He is sovereign. He is in control, Psalms 103:19 says, “The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.”

It’s hard to tell someone about Jesus because everyone has already made their minds up about Him. Whether you think you have or not. Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God? If your answer is anything other than yes absolutely, then you haven’t placed your faith in God.

The bible says, “For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow” Lamentations 3:31-33. God’s word promises that he will never leave us, nor forsake us. You have to trust that.

Look at Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, three Jewish men who did not bow down to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue, in the book of Daniel.

They refused to worship anything or anyone other than the God of Israel causing King Nebuchadnezzar to order them to be thrown into the fire. Faced with their imminent, painful, death they said, “‘If our God—the one we serve—is able to rescue us from the furnace of flaming fire and from your power, Your Majesty, then let him rescue us. But if he doesn’t, know this for certain, Your Majesty: we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you’ve set up’” Daniel 3:17-8.

What happened next? They were tied up and thrown into the furnace. But then, something weird happened. When people looked into the fire, they saw four men walking around. They weren’t alone and they weren’t in pain. Jesus was with them in the fire.

They were ordered to come out and “Nebuchadnezzar declared: “May the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be praised! He sent his messenger to rescue his servants who trusted him. They ignored the king’s order, sacrificing their bodies, because they wouldn’t serve or worship any god but their God” Daniel 3:28.

These men refused to worship anything other than the Lord. They placed their faith and trust in God, and when faced with peril, they remained steadfast. This isn’t just a bible story to read aloud when bad things happen. It’s a real event, these things happened.

This was a miracle. These men were saved from the fire by the grace of God.

We need to be more like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego when tragedy is knocking. Because, “As God’s household, you are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone” Ephesians 2:20.

Place your faith in Jesus, in Christ alone our lives are saved. Believe when you read from the Old Testament, “Therefore, the Lord God says: Look! I’m laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a valuable cornerstone, a sure foundation: the one who trusts won’t tremble” Isaiah 28:16.

Prayer isn’t useless, it’s how we communicate with God and how we put our faith in Him. Go to Him in prayer, asking for help, asking for Him to fix the mess our world is in. Put your trust in God, not in men. Jesus is our savior, He can do so much more than you can possibly imagine, but only if you ask.

Cover Image Credit: Yahoo

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Cole & Savannah LaBrant's Story Is Proof Our Lives Are Completely In God's Hands

A spur of the moment meeting, wasn't as spur of the moment as they thought.

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Many people hear the phrase "your life is in God's hands" or "He has a plan for you."

And to some people, that might only be just that, a phrase. There might never be a big "wow" moment in their lives that proves that phrase to be true. They might not be completely trusting and awed by their faith. I know for one, that I am not as strong in my faith as I could be and should be.

I also LOVE to make plans for my life.

I have had my 20's pretty much mapped out since the middle of high school: graduate college at 22, get married around 25-26, have at least two kids before I am 30. You know, the usual things a soon-to-be-20-year-old thinks about (at least the ones I have talked to). In the back of my mind, I have always known, however, that there is a slim chance MY plans will actually work out.

And what is the point of worrying about things I don't know will work out and trying to control things, not within my limits of control?

The one thing I am certain of is God's plan is so much greater than what I have planned for myself.

After reading YouTubers Cole and Savannah LaBrant's book, this certainty of a greater plan was even more solidified.

I have come to see the true and raw faith that God truly does hold the map to our lives if we give in to Him and trust in Him and His ways.

The beginning of the book is where this proof truly is.

The entire book is truly amazing, inspiring, and sprinkled with the love of God and the beauty of a relationship that is focused on faith. The truly amazing part for me was their chance encounter, detailed in the beginning few chapters.

After direct messaging Savannah and asking to meet up when he was in LA, Cole never heard back from her, but really she did reply but he never saw it. Then, he and his friend, John Stephen, who was with him, just happened to be in the exact same place at the exact same time. Through Savannah's sister who just happens to be walking by them at the same time in a different place, they are able to finally meet.

Why did Cole and John Stephen just happen to be at the Grove at the same time and day as Savannah and Everleigh and their friends?

Let me tell you: GOD.

Both of them had finally started to give their lives to their faith and trust in God.

Savannah was struggling through a back and forth relationship while praying for the right man to walk into her life. Cole was praying for a woman to come into his life that was just as in love with her faith as he was with his. Their prayers weren't answered right away, because God is on His own schedule and always knows when the time is right.

But with a little faith and patience, BOTH of their prayers were answered, and here they are years later, happy and expecting a new baby together.

Our lives are completely and truly in God's hands and all we have to do is trust and believe in and love Him to see the magic happen.

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