After the horrific attacks in Paris last week, social media lit up with messages urging us to “Pray for Paris”. And why not? It was shocking to think of the “City of Lights” under such a cloud of panic and terror. When we think of Paris, we think of art, sophistication, “joie de vivre” and especially romance. We can relate to people living in Paris because most of them are “like us”.
But why don’t we pray for Beirut (formerly known as the “Paris of the Middle East”) which experienced a similar suicide bombing?
Why don’t we pray for Ankara, Turkey, another significant city recently suffering terror attacks that tore apart lives (literally)?
Syria? When was the last time we even thought of praying for Syria?
Is it because there are not enough people “like us” in those places? Most of us don’t want to admit that, but it’s likely true.
The Apostle Paul tells us to pray for all kinds of people all the time.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. I Timothy 2:1-4
That’s a good attitude to have when we are facing a world full of turmoil. It also prepares us to interact with people NOT “like us” as they enter Canada seeking refuge from the madness and pain of their countries of origin.
Paris is a beautiful, iconic city. I have such good memories of exploring and savouring that beautiful place. I hope to visit it again soon (this time with my sweetheart in tow). So…let’s pray for Paris…and Beirut…and Ankara…and Syria…and us.