Senseless acts of violence, wars, natural disasters, it makes you stop and ask what to pray for when the world seems to be falling apart.

When you enlist in the armed forces, you understand that you may go into harm’s way. But when you attend church, ride on the subway, go to the grocery store, or attend elementary school, you don’t expect for you or those you love to lose their life.

How do we make sense out of this? Why does God allow such horrible things to happen? If there is an all knowing, all powerful God, how can this be?

One person goes to the grocery store to buy a birthday cake and is shot and killed. While another person goes into the same store to buy a birthday cake, yet they went a day before a shooter killed 10 people. Does God spare one person over another? I don’t believe so.

But I don’t want to believe that we live in a world of randomness and chaos. Yet, sadly, there is randomness and chaos. It will shake your faith and trust in God to the core. (Personally, I have a lot of questions to ask God on this subject when I get to corner Him in heaven.)

The Book I Turn to When the World Seems to Be Falling Apart

Whenever I wonder about senseless violence, natural disasters, sickness, suffering… I turn to God and God’s Word for strength, peace and comfort, but I also turn to a beautiful book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner.

I posted this prayer from his book on my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and found it to be quite thought provoking and comforting at the same time. My hope is that you will too.

What to Pray For

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end war;

For we know that You have made the world in a way

That man must find his own path to peace.

Within himself and with his neighbor.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end starvation.

For You have already given us the resources

With which to feed the entire world,

If we would only use them wisely.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to root out prejudice.

For You have already given us eyes

With which to see the good in all men,

If we would only use them rightly.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end despair,

For You have already given us the power

To clear away slums and to give hope,

If we would only use our power justly.

We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end disease.

For You have already given us great minds

With which to search out cures and healing,

If we would only use them constructively.

Therefore, we pray to You instead, O God,

For strength, determination and will power,

To do instead of just pray,

To become instead of merely to wish.

Rabbi Jack Riemer

May you lean into God’s arms of strength and comfort.

I almost always ask my readers a question or give them something to contemplate about. Do you have a question or something you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

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