In the aftermath of Virginia Tech, I found myself asking, ‘what can be done in our society to prevent a tragedy like this?’ and then in my reading I came across the following passage and in light of the massacre and my overall palsied prayer life, I lowered my head in shame.
“Often we come to God because it is civil to do so, and a general custom, but neither drawn thither by love, nor pinched by spiritual necessities and piercing apprehensions; we say so many prayers because we are resolved so to do, and we pass through them sometimes with little attention, sometimes with none at all; and can we think that the grace of chastity can be obtained at such a purchase? Can we expect that our sins should be washed away by a lazy prayer? Can an indifferent prayer quench the flames of hell, or rescue us from eternal sorrow? Is lust so soon overcome that the very naming of it can master it? Is the devil so slight and easy an enemy that he will fly from us at the first word spoken without power or vehemence? Read and attend to the prayers of the saints.
“I cried day and night before thee, O Lord;” “my soul refused comfort;” “my throat is dry with calling upon my God,” “my knees are weak through fasting;” and, “I will not let thee go until thou hast blessed me,” said Jacob to the angel.
Now we know every prayer we make is considered by God and recorded in heaven; but cold prayers are not put into the account in order to effect and acceptation, but are laid aside like the buds of roses which a cold wind hath nipped into death.” Jeremy Taylor
After reading this I asked myself, 'do I think the saving grace for our country can be obtained with prayers such as mine'? 'Can I expect that the sins of America will be lessened by my lazy prayers'? 'Can my indifferent prayers send a protective covering over our land or my home'? 'Will the lustful morality of our culture be deterred by my infrequent requests'? Will the families of Virginia Tech be comforted by my prayers? Or yours?