When the innocent suffer

God comforts us—and all

Our hearts break when the innocent suffer. In war, for instance, physical injuries are often inflicted on the innocent by soldiers who may actually feel no malice toward these people. The soldiers' acts may even mentally torment them later. If our prayers for peace have not prevailed and prevented such suffering, can we expect them to mitigate the sorrow and future damage? The answer is a sober, but not a tentative, "Yes." Prayer that acknowledges God has power on earth.

The temptation is that when our prayers have not proved to be preventive in the way that we would like, we cease praying. We can right now turn from such temptation to the study and meditation that will increase our understanding of God and strengthen our faith.

The prayerful embrace that an unselfed love offers is felt by the victims of tragedies of all kinds. Testimonies published in this magazine document specific instances when individuals have felt themselves beneficiaries of prayers from unknown sources. Such prayers, full of faith and seeking the welfare of all mankind, are uttered around the clock. We cannot weigh their influence and must not discount it. Christ Jesus, whose prayers were the most influential of any individual on earth, instructed that our prayers begin by acknowledging our relation to God, the presence of His kingdom, and the fulfillment of His will on earth (see Matt. 6:9–13).

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A battle plan for healing homesickness
July 20, 1998

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