Like everyone, I am deeply saddened by the horrific murders of the elementary children and adults in Newtown last week. As a parent and an attorney that works with elementary students, parents, and teachers on a regular basis, my mind cannot fathom the level of depravity necessary to target a school.
In the coming weeks and months, our nation will debate what we can do to prevent such violence, which seems to be occurring with an ever-increasing frequency. These are hard discussions, but they are ones that must be had.
Yet sadly absent from these discussions is any acknowledgement of the need to call out to God for our defense and our protection. As one wise man put it:
“[W]e have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand, which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
That was Abraham Lincoln proclaiming a national day of fasting in response to the horror of the Civil War.
Following Lincoln’s example, it is time for us to cry out to God for divine protection for our schools and children from the evil of this world. To confess and repent as a nation for our efforts to drive Him out of our schools. And to humbly acknowledge that no effort of man will ever fully protect our children. To paraphrase Psalm 127:1, unless the Lord builds the defense, its builders labor in vain.
And there are numerous ways to build upon that foundation of prayer to help raise a Divine defense around our schools and children:
1. Volunteer at the school. Many schools need volunteers to assist with programs and activities. You can be a positive influence there. After work, pray for the students and teachers that you work with.
2. Have your church, Sunday school class, or small group adopt a school. Pray for that school. Donate school supplies to teachers and underprivileged students at the school.
3. Form an after-school Bible club for children at the school. Your club can be a place where all students, including those that feel isolated and angry, can find acceptance and be transformed through the power of Christ.
So in these times of tragedy, let us put our hope and our trust in the only One who is able to truly protect and defend our children. And as the Psalmist says, “No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame.”
This post originally appeared here.