In spite of strict gun laws and police enforcement, Chicago is facing the highest level of gun violence it’s seen in years. The same problem is surfacing in Oakland, New Orleans, and other cities. (President Obama embarked on a trip this week to promote his plan to curb firearm-related crime.) At the same time, New York and other cities are experiencing record low levels of gun violence — and violent crime levels in the US are dropping overall. The reduction of gang violence may have an effect on overall violence in cities, but experts say the relationship is uncertain.
This audio chat, “A healing response to gun violence,” provides a basis for our prayers about gun violence. It’s important to start by recognizing that prayer isn’t a wishy-washy or passive response to a real problem; it’s an active answer to the violent mentality that would try to terrorize, incapacitate, or kill goodness.
“Interrupt violence before it happens” explores how we can acknowledge God as an active presence, even where urban decay and other issues associated with violence seem to be intractable. The author explains how this kind of prayer “removes the blindfolds of fear, anger, retaliation so that the light of Love can be seen and felt.”
You might also enjoy “What will calm violence at home and abroad?,” which discusses how we can spiritually address the “seeds of discontent” which spawn both gun violence and international terrorism. As we take a stand against mental darkness — things like hopelessness, powerlessness, and fear — we’re fighting back against the shared belief that there are many minds, some of which are misguided or evil, and recognizing the operation of one God, who protects His children and heals a violent mentality.