This month marks the 10th anniversary of an event none of us wish to celebrate; the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It’s one of those times in life when everyone can remember where they were that day. On September 11th, 2001, I was 7 months pregnant with our first child and my husband was in Southern California on a business trip. He called me at 8:00 in the morning wondering if I had turned on the TV or heard any radio news yet. I had not.
As I pressed the button on the TV remote, I entered a chaotic war zone, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. All day, I sat planted on the couch feeling that I had to watch everything, see every interview and hear everyone’s story of their lost loved one. My heart felt that I owed it to those people to share their pain. Because all airports were shut down that day, my husband started his 18-hour drive home in a rental car that afternoon. It seemed like a small inconvenience for our family compared to what others were going through.
Every American has a 9/11 story just like this to tell, although some stories are much more intimately connected to, and came face-to-face with, the tragedy. Many Americans also share another common 9/11 thread – prayer.
“…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14
Millions of people prayed that day: We prayed for survivors to be found, families to reunite, for justice, for healing, and for God’s mercy. Some people may think, “Why pray afterward when the damage has already been done?” Good question, but it really is necessary. Why? Prayer authorizes God’s hand to work on our behalf. Prayer makes a difference. Prayer changes things. Prayer helps us refocus our priorities and find answers. It’s a natural action with supernatural implications.
As you and I remember the heartbreak, heroism, loss and significance on 9/11’s 10th anniversary, please also remember to pray. Have a conversation with God for a few minutes while you’re in your car, while you’re on a walk, when you wake up first thing in the morning, while you’re in the shower, as you cook, as you rake leaves or mow your grass, etc.
Not sure exactly what to pray for? Suggestions for prayer topics:
· Pray for the people who are still suffering because of their loss and still have emotional trauma.
· Pray that plots for future destruction, such as 9/11, are thwarted beforehand.
· Pray for a covering of peace and safety on cities and schools.
· Pray for leaders to be led by God’s Spirit when making decisions.
· Pray for peace and healing for our land.
What could God be waiting for you to pray for, right now?
By Krista Dunk, In remembrance of those who died on September 11th, 2001.