IN THE SHADOW OF HORROR Pastor Terry Hofecker Northwest Chapel
September 11, 2001
46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. 47 Fear and a snare have come upon us, desolation and destruction. 48 My eyes overflow with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. 49 My eyes flow and do not cease, without interruption, 50 Till the LORD from heaven looks down and sees. 51 My eyes bring suffering to my soul because of all the daughters of my city. 52 My enemies without cause hunted me down like a bird. 53 They silenced my life in the pit and threw stones at me. 54 The waters flowed over my head; I said, "I am cut off!"
55 I called on Your name, O LORD, From the lowest pit. 56 You have heard my voice: "Do not hide Your ear From my sighing, from my cry for help." 57 You drew near on the day I called on You, and said, "Do not fear!" (NKJV)
Just a few short hours ago heartless enemies of our nation wantonly killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of our fellow citizens as they did no more than go about the daily routine of their lives. Even now, rescue workers, peace officers, military personnel, medical personnel and hundreds of other public workers and volunteers are swallowing their rage and grief and heroically doing what they were trained to do. They cannot stop and grieve with us. Someday, when it catches up with them a second set of uncounted victims will fall to the bloody hands of these savage terrorists.
One of the hijacked planes fell just a few short miles from my family home in Western Pennsylvania and within earshot of my brother's workplace. I, with millions of others, worried through those early hours how deeply and intimately I would be touched by this mindless cruelty. Thousands upon thousands will not be as blessed as my family and will have their national grief turned into an intimate one.
Inthe days ahead, many concrete opportunities will present themselves for us to respond. But, until we are called upon to donate blood, give money, open our homes or even sift through the rubble, we must all endure the almost unbearable impulse to DO something. Thankfully, as God's people, we have a responsibility we can and we must fulfill. Our nation needs us.
Of course, our nation needs us to pray.
Pray for the victims still trapped and/or suffering. Ask for God to add to the efforts of all the rescue workers and medical and relief personnel His special care, guidance and healing.
Pray for the rescue workers, peace officers and medical personnel who are now facing that which training can never prepare any human being to face. Pray for physical and emotional protection and stamina. Pray that each would have a sense of divine aid and empowerment as they act as God's ministers in this situation. Pray for the sacrifice their families will make as well.
Pray for the families of the victims. Pray that each would find comforters in their lives to reach out to them in this time when no comfort is sufficient. Pray that God would add to this work His own divine comfort.
Pray for our national leaders. Pray that they would have safety, wisdom, courage and strength as they lead us in God's name (Romans 13: 1-6). Pray that they would have the information necessary revealed to them that they might act wisely, justly and swiftly. Pray for their families and the burden each family member will bear as they carry out there ministry to us.
Pray for our nation: that in this hour of darkness, we would not fear nor falter in the divine calling we sense as a people. Pray that we would remain united as a nation and stand united behind our leaders.
Pray for the nations of the earth. Pray that they would rally to the standard of sanity and justice and that those nations who refuse would find themselves shunned and pariahs among the community of nations. Pray that the Word of God and not the ravings of partisans and madmen would capture the heart of all peoples.
We now face a night that has come upon us swiftly and unbidden. But, we do not face it alone. Let us love and support one another in the true spirit of Jesus Christ. Let us make prayer our labor as diligently and passionately as any other of the "relief' workers called to respond to this tragedy. Let us do our part as needed by our national leaders and fellow citizens. And let us remember the words of Our Lord, "Do not fear!"