Why Do We Pray for People Who Don’t Deserve Our Prayers?

I decided not to publish my scheduled post today, but instead talk to you about something heavy on my heart. The past 48 hours our community has been grieving the loss of beautiful 10 year old Hailey Owens who was abducted walking to a friend’s house. Every time the Amber alert went off it pierced our hearts and we prayed she would be found… alive and unharmed.

There are no words to express our heartache for the Owens family. 

The news spread quickly and in a few hours span almost 200,000+ around the country turned their porch lights on in honor of Hailey Owens, an innocent child many of us didn’t even know, but now we love and grieve her loss. This is our porch light …

Porch lights on for Hailey Owens

As we try to wrap our hearts around such a tragic loss, the question pounding in my heart focuses on the other side. How in the world could a teacher and coach in our community take the life of an innocent child? It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s not supposed to make any sense. It’s a senseless act of  the very opposite of love. Many of us today (especially moms and dads) are feeling completely helpless. How can we keep our children safe when we hear the details of a teacher who did the unthinkable and turned into a monster, a murderer?

It’s evil.

It’s frightening.

It’s horrific.

It’s paralyzing.

My friend, Casey Gibbons shared this today on social media: With the tragic loss of Hailey Owens in our community, we are teaching our girls to grieve with others who mourn, to be wise and alert, and to trust The Lord as we do not let fear dominate our lives. Lastly, and perhaps the hardest Biblical response, is to remember that although we may not all commit crimes like the man arrested, we are all in need of a Savior. So, we pray for repentance and salvation for anyone and everyone.

Anyone and everyone needs salvation.

There will always be evil in our world. We are a lost world that needs a Savior.

How else can we explain a father sending text messages to his daughter during the previews of a movie ending with the 43-year-old man shot dead amid the theater seats, and a 71-year-old retired police officer in custody. It’s a senseless act of the very opposite of love.

Anyone and everyone needs salvation.

I’m sure every parent feels fear at some point in their child’s life. The good news.. God will always give us the grace & power to make it through ANY circumstance even when we don’t understand the outcome.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Hear Me saying Peace, be still to your restless heart. No matter what happens, I will never leave you or forsake you. Let this assurance soak into your mind and heart, until you overflow with Joy. Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, you need NOT fear! The media relentlessly proclaim bad news: for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A steady diet of their fare will sicken you. Instead of focusing on fickle, ever-changing news broadcasts, tune in to the living Word—the One who is always the same. Let Scripture saturate your mind and heart, and you will walk steadily along the path of Life. Even though you don’t know what will happen tomorrow, you can be absolutely sure of your ultimate destination. I hold you by your right hand, and afterward I will TAKE you into Glory.” -Jesus Calling

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. Psalm 46:2

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Psalm 73:23–24


So, I have a choice today to pray for those people who don’t deserve our prayers. The honest truth, I’m a sinner who has been saved by the grace of a perfect, loving Savior. What a humbling thought. I don’t deserve His love. God loves me and He loves the man who tragically took the life of a little girl named Hailey Owen.

We all need forgiveness.

We all need grace.

We all need eternal life.

We all need a Savior. 

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