Late last night, local, state, and federal authorities apprehended the last known suspect, injured 19-year old, and enemy of every red-blooded American, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A man also known as “Suspect #2.” Yesterday was a day away from the office for me, so I was glued to the TV for most of the day watching the coverage, and I decided to stayed up and watch the end of this weeklong story. It made sense to pray for Boston. And then I started thinking. And then I started typing…
So, anybody praying for Suspect #2 tonight?
— Geoff Cocanower (@geoffcocanower) April 20, 2013
The response was interesting. Some people said what so many others were thinking, I’m sure. Others took this from a Christian perspective and said, “It’s what we are supposed to do.” I knew that it was going to ruffle some feathers. However, that’s not why I posted it.
See, I’m an American and I have a pulse. I’m an American and I grieve with the families who lost loved ones. I was (keyword is was) an athlete and hate the reality that some of those runners, some of those fans, might never run again. I despise the cowardice in terrorism. But, I am a follower of Jesus. And he said something, to me, that messes with me.
Wait. You mean, I have to pray someone that has caused so much pain? So much loss? I have to pray for a person that committed such an egregious act against a group of people? What could Jesus be thinking here?!
The answer is: No. You don’t. You don’t have to pray for Suspect #2. Not one thing is telling you that you have to do anything for the guy except pull the lever that will end his life. I mean, he did end other peoples’ lives. So, no. You don’t have to pray for Suspect #2.
But, you do, if you’re also a follower of Christ, have to pray that God would be made famous. You do have to pray that God, in every single part of this, would be glorified. And if you recognize that you should pray for that, then you will pray for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Why? Because that would be a miracle; you praying for him to be redeemed AND him being redeemed.
It goes without saying to pray for all of the people that are affected by this. Throw in the people affected by the tragedy in Texas, and the 5600 Chinese that have been affected in some way by the earthquake (that we aren’t hearing about, and most likely won’t given the political climate in the region) and you have yourself a good list of people to pray for.
But don’t forget to pray for God to be glorified in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Jesus prayed for you while you were an enemy to him. Jesus died for you while you were an enemy to him. All he’s asking you to do is pray for those who are PRESENTLY enemies to you. The question is: Will you?