Another school shooting…sigh. I REALLY don’t like the fact that several families don’t have the privilege of seeing their teenagers grow up or are without a father, brother, son or friend.
I thought about how these things could be prevented and this is what I came up with:
1. Adopt a school to pray for.
For those of us who have children in school, this is easy to do. Although it sounds simple enough, it is the simple things that don’t get done, aren’t they? Let’s take a test. Did you pray for the safety of your child’s/children’s school today? If you don’t have children or have children in school anymore, perhaps you can adopt a school–perhaps a nearby school or a school where one of your relatives attends. Maybe it’s the school you or your children attended. It really doesn’t matter which one, as long as you can commit to pray IN FAITH, knowing that God will hear your prayer and answer. You may not have faith for every school in the nation, but you can have faith for one.
==>>PRAYER promise for protection: Psalm 91:10 (AMP) “No evil will befall you [insert school name] Nor will any plague come near your tent.”
2. Pray for God to raise up pray-ers (people who faithfully pray) in each school in your city.
That was my prayer one morning as I dropped off my daughter at the bus stop. Of course I prayed for her, her school mates, faculty and workers at HER school, but what about other schools? Honestly, no, I didn’t pray for other schools, nor do I regularly. Why not? It’s about authority.
When I pray for my children, there is a sense of authority I have that YES, God is listening and YES, He is answering my prayers.
God gave me this analogy. Just as I have authority in the natural realm over my children, I have authority in the spiritual realm as well. Just as I don’t physically have much authority over other children, I feel that don’t have much authority in the spiritual realm either.
Does God hear my prayers–absolutely. This is not to say that I shouldn’t pray for other children, but I do believe that there is a greater level of authority, and therefore faith, that is given for those of our household.
Scriptural proof: Acts 16:31 ” “…Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and YOUR household.”
God gives us this promise for our household salvation.
Getting back to praying for pray-ers. Because our faith may be diluted, so to speak, in trying to pray for every school in the city, state or nation, why not pray for God to raise up faithful and faith-filled pray-ers to pray with confidence and faith for particular schools in their neighborhood or city. That way, every school is covered. If we ask, God will do it. Here is the promise:
==>>PRAYER promise for pray-ers: 1 John 5:14-16 (NIV) “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
3. Regularly pray for those in positions of leadership.
Okay, this one is of paramount importance, especially in light of the Nikolas Cruz incident. Some news reports tell us that the FBI was informed on at least one occasion of the possibility of Cruz being a potential threat to his former school. After all, anyone who makes the comment, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” should be flagged.
The young man reached out with pictures on Instagram with his guns and knives. He wrote that he wanted to be a school shooter. The writing was on the wall, but those who were charged with the task of trying to prevent it were not vigilant, so it seems.
In this case, let’s say that prayers possibly went forth for protection. Many signs and warning signals were thrown, but the FBI dropped the ball. UGH! (my opinion only, based on the information that I have). This is a statement from them:
“Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life,” the FBI said in its statement on Friday. “The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami field office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken. We have determined that these protocols were not followed.”
My husband told me that there were two police officers sitting outside in their cars when the incident occurred. This is not to bash police officers, by any means. However, I can’t help but think that if police knew of Cruz’s impending action, would there be more vigilance?
This is why we should be praying for those in positions of authority on a regular basis.
Pray for our law enforcement agents, that they would not get lax or perfunctory in their day-to-day functions.
Perhaps they are overwhelmed with false reports. Pray for them to know which ones to follow up on.
Perhaps they are overworked. Pray for them to seek for wisdom to get the most crucial things done.
Perhaps they are fearful. Pray for their protection and courage as well.
Pray for them to take a personal responsibility for the safety of the children in their precinct.
I understand that praying alone may be hard to do. Why not join a prayer group that prays for these very things?
==>>PRAYER promise for leaders: 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
4. Listen intently to children and teenagers as they talk about others in their class/school.
The young man who committed this crime sounded like a very needy person who had been reaching out for attention for a long time. I read that he was recently orphaned, having had both parents to die. I also read that he has been expelled from school more than once and that these troubles began in middle school. In addition, police were reportedly called to the home where he lived 39 times, beginning in 2010, for calls ranging from domestic disturbance to abuse. I also read that he chose to carry out the shooting on Valentine’s Day because he had been rejected by a young lady.
Teenagers have a lot of trouble facing them these days. If they don’t feel that they have proper support, those troubles can become major mountains in their lives.
Do you wonder why Cruz didn’t kill himself afterwards? Most mass shooters do. Personally, I wonder if he’s thinking: “Finally, I got some attention.”
Albeit, it’s very negative, but I have read that young children will often misbehave to gain attention, whether positive or negative.
I wonder if any of Cruz’s classmates talked about him to their parents.
If so, what if they (student and parent) took a personal responsibility to intervene? How?
Maybe reach out to the young man? Invite him to church? Genuinely inquire as to how he was doing? How about reaching out to the guardians? Give them some spiritual literature? Try to be a friend? Invite the family over for dinner or another outing?
Wow, I am getting challenged to reach out myself!
I know that these are tall orders to fill, but at the very least…PRAY!
If you are looking for practical ways to reach out and share the gospel, fellow blogger Arabah Joy, has these wonderful tips.
==>>PRAYER promise for helping others: 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
5. Practice “each one reach one” in your own town or neighborhood.
Personally, I would hate for something like this to happen in my town, let alone my daughter’s school. Why? Well, for obvious reasons, of course, and also because I feel I have a personal responsibility to PRAY for those things that are in my spiritual jurisdiction.
This is a statement from one of Cruz’s co-workers:
“My sister had texted me and said it was Nikolas Cruz. And I said, ‘Oh my god, I know him!'” said Sarah Lowy, who says she knew Nikolas Cruz from his job at the Dollar Tree store. “He had this weird disposition about himself,” Lowy said. “He followed me on Instagram. … And I saw all of the pictures of his guns, he had a picture of his gun up to his face.” Lowy said she regrets not doing more. “As soon as I heard what happened, immediately in my mind was I should have done something. I could have prevented this.”
I hope that Ms. Lowy doesn’t assume personal responsibility for this crime, but her statement does give us all something to think about.
In the last point I gave some examples of things we could do. I don’t want anyone to feel intimidated, but the Lord will use you where you are. He will take the gifts you have and use them for His glory. Here’s a story of how the Lord recently used me to reach one:
On my way to church one morning I saw two taxi-cabs pulled over onto the median. I felt the Lord ask me to stop and inquire as to how I can help.
“No Lord,” I said. “I’m already running late.” (He frequently makes these requests/gives me these types of instructions.)
The more I drove, the more I thought about how lame my statement was. How could I be more concerned about being on time than obeying the Lord? I turned around, (secretly hoping the cars were gone) and found only one there. I supposed the other had gone for help.
As I approached the cab I could see that the driver was wearing a burka, which indicated that she was probably Muslim.
I inquired about her car and in her broken English, she told me that it wouldn’t start and that someone was coming for help.
I expressed my gladness at that and then asked her if she was a Christian. I didn’t think she would be accepting, but I invited her to church anyway and guess what she said?
“I’m coming. I’m coming.”
Whether or not she understood what I was saying or what I was giving her is irrelevant to me. I reached out to one and maybe, just maybe she has been seeking for a deeper spiritual relationship.
The point of this story is…each one, reach one. Your next “one” may be a possible Nikolas Cruz. No need to fear. God loves him and God loves you.
As for as I’m concerned, regarding school shootings—>>
Not on my watch, not in my neighborhood, not in my school!
Prayers and action will make a difference.
==>>PRAYER promise for reaching out with the gospel: 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 “ I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.” –the Apostle Paul
You never can tell what seeds will sprout up. Just sow!
Thank you for reading. I’m encouraged to do more to help prevent more school shootings. Are you? What are your biggest challenges to the suggestions listed in this post? I’d love to hear from you!