Dear Father, October 2017 is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 20 people in the US are being physically abused by an intimate partner every minute. That’s 10 million people a year. 1 in 3 women will be the victims of intimate partner violence in their lifetime. 14% of women report being stalked by their partners. Only 33% of people injured by an intimate partner receive medical care. An estimated 10% of women have been raped by someone they have known. 20% of the victims of domestic homicides are family members, friends, neighbors, law enforcement responders, or bystanders. 1 out of every 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year. Victims of domestic violence may struggle with addiction, depression, suicidal ideation, crisis pregnancies, miscarriage, stillbirth, chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD, and other diseases. Father, You know these statistics. You’ve watched every act of violence throughout human history. You know the people involved. You know their relationships. You know their hurts. You know their hopes and dreams. Your heart breaks. Father, this is what we do as humans when we rebel against You. You don’t ask much of us – we are to love You and love our neighbors. When we reject you, we hate our neighbors – including those who share an intimate relationship with us. Father, I ask You to save people this very day from violence. Intervene. Block an abuser’s path or their raised fist. Distract them. May someone step in to defend the intended victim. Father, explode Your Spirit into the abuser’s life. Confront them – “why are you hurting this person? It hurts me! What is going on in your heart that you are so unloving?” Lead them to confession, repentance, and surrender. Transform the abuser into a protector, a man or woman of compassion and grace. Father, the core problem with domestic violence in America is that our people have rebelled from You. When we surrender our lives to You, we allow the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and minds. We become loving, kind, gentle, and self-controlled. These domestic violence statistics reveal our nation is in rebellion. Father, forgive us and call our nation to revival. When we return to You, as a nation and individually, domestic violence will drop considerably. Father, I pray for every victim of domestic violence. Comfort them this very hour. May they feel Your love. Heal them. Give them a testimony of Your love that gives hope to all of us. Father, bless the ministries and organizations who care for the victims. Give them the resources they need and the effectiveness and impact they long for. Amen.
Dear Father, I thank You for the opportunity to attend Chris Tomlin’s concert at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, MA last night. Father, in the midst of all the news of the dysfunction, division, and corruption in our society, it was such a breath of fresh air to attend a gathering of passionate worshipers of Jesus Christ. Outstanding. There was truly a family atmosphere as thousands of strangers were united in their love for You. Father, there is hope for America. There are thousands of people in every state in this country who don’t know You this very hour. They are not walking with You. They are lost in their brokenness and rebellion. However, they will come to faith in Christ. They will be filled with the Holy Spirit. Their hearts and minds will be transformed. It is exciting to think of all the lives across this nation that will soon come to faith in Christ. They will one day participate in a worship service, deeply thankful for everything You have done for them. Father, thank You for calling artists like Chris Tomlin into ministry. Thank You for giving them the gifts to give us a taste of what worship is like in Your Kingdom. Thank You for giving to us through them the words to sing praise to You. When we praise You, our fears and anxieties are diminished. Bless Chris, his family, his band, and his ministry. Keep them safe. Keep them dedicated to You. Protect them from temptation and evil. Meet their needs. May whatever challenges Chris is facing in his life today be inspirations for him to write more songs of praise and thanksgiving that will touch Your church tomorrow.