Prayer, Plain and Simple

Drug violence in Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso, Texas, is exploding into a war. So far this month, nearly 100 people have been killed. The death toll for 2009 stands at 2,000, more than 200 per month. Juarez now holds the pitiable title, “deadliest city in the world.”

I know Juarez. Our church has a strategic alliance with a Christian ministry that runs an orphanage, school and church in the heart of the city. In years past we have sent youth and young adult teams to work there. Our family spent a Spring break in Juarez with a few of the children who have become victims in the wake of the tumultuous living conditions of this border metropolis. We received far more than we gave!

Now Juarez is in chaos. Streets are eerily empty at night and the corridors are filled with Mexican troops trying in vain to keep the peace. Eight thousand soldiers have flooded the city, to no avail. Every night victims have been found hanging from bridges, gunned down in vehicles, and left on street corners, bound and gagged with their throats slashed. Many victims are bystanders in the wrong place. But most are low level operators of the two feuding drug cartels: the Juarez Cartel and the El Chapo Guzman Cartel.

Let’s pray for the peace of Juarez. Prayer matters. God cares. Let’s join this war for peace and an end to the violence and the sources of violence there with the best and most effective weapon there is!

“God, you are a God of peace. You hate violence and injustice. We ask you now to intervene in this horrible drug war in Juarez. We ask you to embolden the Mexican and U.S. officials dealing with this crisis. Give them miraculous insight to deploy their resources in the right places at the right times. Protect soldiers and police officers in this battle. Protect the innocent as well. We pray for the young men and women pulled – often by threats to their own families – into joining these gangs. Give them ways to escape. Give them hope and protection. God, bring judgment on the greed driven leaders of the Juarez Cartel and the El Chap Guzman Cartel. Help officials to find and arrest them soon. And God, forgive us as Americans for fostering an environment that drives the demand for these drugs. Break the grip of drug addiction in our nation. Give strength to those working with those addicted to chemicals. Deliver us from this evil and in the course and deliver cities like Juarez from the plight of the violence driven by our demand to find ways – other than dependence on you – to escape the pain of our lives. We pray this in Jesus…” 

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