Perhaps, like me, you have been struggling, wondering exactly how we should pray for Paris at this time of sorrow and unanswered questions. Although we might think that these Islamic attacks would motivate the French to seek God and hopefully turn to Christ, most are driven in the opposite direction, angry with anything associated with religion. The French see what religion has done to their country over the centuries; the religion of Islam inspired the recent terrorist attacks, but the wars of religion in previous eras have driven France to accept a radical form of secularism, a dogged commitment to reject any religion offered them. They see religion as the source of conflict, not the solution to it.
This commitment to secularism and political correctness has made it difficult for most French people to see the radical distinction between Mohammed and Jesus, the radical difference between being told to “slay your enemies” and being told to “love your enemies.”
How shall we pray for France? Pray that the church, those who truly represent Christ, will become involved in the lives of all who sorrow and the multitudes who live in fear of another attack. Pray that people will be driven back to the Bible and will re-read, as for the first time, the glorious story of the Incarnation and the hope offered in Jesus.
These attacks remind us that life is uncertain. One moment we can be enjoying our friends and a moment later we can find ourselves in eternity. Pray that many Parisians will give serious thought to life beyond the grave and turn to the only One who can prepare them for that sobering event.
All for the King,