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Editorial: A difficult, heartfelt prayer for Orlando


There are moments when prayer doesn’t come easily to our lips.

This is one of those moments.

Hours after the worst mass shooting in American history, members of The Christian Chronicle’s staff gathered with our extended family at Oklahoma Christian University to pray in Hartman Place, a quiet patch of campus where we honor those we have lost and petition God for comfort — and purpose — for those who remain. “Love, Remember, Write,” reads a plaque above a sidewalk chalk dispenser. Below, someone scrawled the words “Pray for Orlando.”

It isn’t an easy prayer. As we watch the world’s landmarks light up in rainbow colors — in solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community after the shooting at a gay nightclub — we grapple with our own internal conflict.
‘None of us wants to live in a world characterized by this kind of violence.’
“Would the souls who perished have been welcome at our worship services?” one of our readers asked.

In the weeks before the massacre, we prepared a report on Title IX nondiscrimination rules and universities associated with Churches of Christ. Members of the LGBT community have placed many of our schools on a “shame list” because we hold to biblical beliefs on sexuality and gender identity. They ask our government to revoke eligibility for federal student financial aid.

Regardless of what divides us, none of us wants to live in a world characterized by this kind of violence, by acts of evil.

As we prayed, we recognized that we serve a Lord who lifted people up out of pain and violence in an angry world.

He continues to do that today, as evidenced by the countless stories of deliverance and redemption we report month after month in these pages.

Lord, may we show those with whom we disagree that your love is stronger than hate, greater than our conflicts and able to wash away the sins that divide.

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Filed under: Editorial

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