This is my view as I sit cross-legged and arms outstretched in prayer for a city that has been host to such a terrible atrocity. And I am struck that two days ago, in a hotel less than a mile away, another looked down on this city, and, so filled with evil was he, that he took the lives of so many, including his own. And here I am, little old me, looking down on this city and trying to combat the darkness in my own way.
We planned this trip months ago when we learned that my husband’s promotion required him to attend a series of conferences in Las Vegas, and spouses were encouraged to attend as well. When we heard about the shooting, I thought possibly the conference would be cancelled (and secretly hoped), but no, it was still on, with increased security. So here we came to Las Vegas.
At the airport was the juxtaposition of the blaring signs and colorful advertisements, promoting anything you could possibly desire, with large black screens saying “We’ve been there for you in the good times. Thank you for standing with us in the bad. #VegasStrong” And that is the hashtag I almost used in my photo above, but something in me balked at the idea. Vegas Strong? No, the only help for Vegas, for any city, for our country, and for our world, can be found through prayer.
I do not believe it was a coincidence that brought me here, with a burning desire in my heart to pray. And not just pray, but to sit at the window and stretch out my arms, not out of the hate and evil of the man two days ago, but out of sadness and love.
Tears pour down my face as I pray for the people of this city, both visitors and residents, who have been broken by this act of evil. I pray that they will seek Jesus, the Savior and Ultimate Comforter, for healing and renewal. I pray for the people who are here that have not been broken, because they have built up such walls of hate and fear or even indifference, that God will break down those walls so that His love and transforming power can seep into their souls. I pray for the families of those who died, that they will seek and find comfort in Jesus; I pray for the wounded that they will be healed and give God the glory! I pray that the churches would rise up in love and be welcoming of every single sinner (and by that, I mean EVERYONE, including and especially myself) and say, “Come and gather with us, because we love you. Here you will find redemption and renewal through our Savior, Jesus Christ.” And finally, I have been praying for this city, that it will be transformed by this heinous act, and not by responding evil with evil, but by becoming a city that LOVES, as Christ loves his people. That people would feel the love of God like a broken dam, that floods through every seedy ally and small corners of every heart, and the city would be renewed and transformed by this love, by His power, and by His Grace.
Because I am dealing with my own insecurities while I am here, I feel an inadequate vessel to be pouring out such enormous prayers for this city. But for some reason I am here and feel this burden that I can’t seem to ignore, so I continue to pray things that I may never see answered, or may never see the impact of until I get to heaven. But for some reason, God chooses inadequate vessels, so maybe he did indeed choose me to be here for such a time as this.