While most of us are not part of the Uvalde community, our hearts are intertwined with them as we feel the pain of their loss. We put ourselves in their shoes, imagining what it would be like to lose our child or grandchild to a senseless act of violence—and then we mourn.
We also feel a sense of helplessness. Is there anything we can do?
Uvalde is almost six hours from where I live and I don’t know anyone in that town, yet it’s very close to where I grew up in San Antonio, and I have a couple of friends who spent their early years there. Those are my only connections—still not enough to make my way down there (even though I’d like to) and embrace those who are hurting. So, I am praying. I am praying for the parents of the children. Praying for the siblings who survived. Praying for the extended families and for the community. Even praying for the family of the shooter. If you want to pray with me, the following are the heartfelt prayers I am lifting up:
Lord, we praise you that you are our comforter. We pray for inexplicable peace to fall over the families of the victims in this shooting. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV) .
We lift up the parents of the children who were killed. Wrap your arms around them, LORD. Show them they are loved and that their children are safe with you. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4, NIV).
We pray for the siblings of the deceased. We ask for you to protect their hearts and mind as they process what has happened. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).
We pray for future protection over the community of Uvalde, as this horrific scenario has undoubtedly shaken those who live there. “The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” (Psalm 121:5–8, NIV).
We ask for healing of the wounded, including the shooter’s grandmother. You are our healer, and we ask that no more will be lost. “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up” (James 5:15, ESV).
Lastly, we pray that the people of Uvalde will know that you are with them. We ask they feel your presence in their time of need. Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:1–2, NIV).
There is no distance with prayer. Let’s join hands in intercession and cover the town of Uvalde as they try to recover from this tragedy. We must appeal to God, the One who can bring them through this time of sorrow.