Can prayer really reduce violence and murder in a community? Yes!
Written by Pastor Dan Haas
Consistent, faithful prayer against violence changed Aurora, Illinois from a community with 3 times the national homicide rate in 1994 to zero homicides in 2010! The effective prayer of a righteous man or woman can accomplish much. (I Timothy 2:1-2; Deuteronomy 21:6-9; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; James 5:16)
The factors that influence people to commit violent acts are very complex. However, until the fundamental nature and roots of violence are identified, progress cannot be made in reducing violent actions. Any act of violence a person commits is taken very seriously by God. God sees acts of violence by men as being responsible for corrupting or polluting the Earth. To cleanse the Earth of corruption God sent a worldwide flood in the days of Noah. (Genesis 4:3-13, 23; Genesis 6:5-13; Exodus 20:13)
Causes of violent acts are anger, revenge, greed, envy, jealousy, drunkenness, lust, and bitterness. These causes are spiritual, moral, and sinful in nature. The Body of Christ, those who believe in and follow Jesus Christ, is to serve as a priesthood of believers reconciling the world to our God and Father. Unless the Church takes the lead in reducing violence in their communities, other institutions will remain frustrated. Governmental bodies, law enforcement agencies, schools and businesses make valuable contributions to reducing violence in communities, but they are not equipped to deal with spiritual issues. (Galatians 5:19-21; James 4:1-2; 1 Peter 2:5,9; Revelation 1:6; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21)
Prayer has an incredible impact on reducing the levels of violence in a community. First, pray for all of your leaders. Paul instructs Timothy that prayer for leaders will lead to a tranquil and quiet life. This means a non-violent community.
The Word of God does not say to only pray for good leaders, but to pray for ALL leaders. Believe that God responds to our prayer in accomplishing His plans and purposes.
Scripture tells us that the act of murder brings blood-guiltiness upon the land and defiles it. Your community becomes literally and spiritually unclean. (Genesis 4:10-11) But prayer and repentance brings healing to the land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
According to Scripture, Christ followers should go to the site of every homicide in a community and pray:
- That the perpetrators of the crime will be revealed.
- That God will forgive the shedding of innocent blood.
- That God will heal the physical land.
- That God will restore His blessing to the neighbors
- That God will minister to the family of the victim in their grief.
Lastly, Scripture tells us that our real enemy is spiritual, not physical. Pray against the demonic powers and strongholds over your city and their influence over people to commit violent acts. (Ephesians 6:12)
Other Specific Prayer Items:
- Pray for all 59 of our Illinois State Senators and 118 Illinois State Representatives, especially those in leadership: Michael Madigan, Jim Durkin, John Cullerton and Christine Radogno.
- Pray that our state lawmakers would reject policies that would contribute to or promote addictive behaviors or cultivate intoxicated people on our roads, in workplaces and in our schools.
- Pray for your local mayor, alderman, city council and/or township officials.
- Pray for local first responders: firefighters, law enforcement, paramedics, and hospital medical teams.
- Pray that God would expose and thwart the plans of barbaric radical Islamists.
- Pray for families of veterans who will be observing Memorial Day this weekend.
- Pray for boldness in our pulpits and for strong, unwavering church leadership plus a willingness to engage the culture.
- Pray for the safety and success of the board and staff members of IFI as we work to advance biblical truth in the public square.
Thank you so very much for your willingness to partner with us in prayer!
Pastor Dan Haas has lived, worked, and served in Aurora, Illinois for over 60 years. For 30 years he was Pastor of Aurora Community Church. In 1979 he was a co-founder of Covenant Christian School, an elementary school serving students pre-school through 8th grade. With Father David Engbarth, Dan Haas was co-founder of The Prayer Coalition for Reconciliation, an organization that has worked to reduce violence in Aurora for 20 years. Read more HERE…