UPDATE as of 12:30 AM April 20: A few hours ago, Dzhokhar was taken into custody! He is now in serious condition in a nearby hospital. We have much to be thankful for: the hard work put in and risks taken by the police in finding this man, the end of the tension surrounding the manhunt, and that no more lives were lost.
Don’t stop your praying yet. There are still a number of people (other than Dzhokhar) in serious condition and we are still mourning over the carnage. Also, Dzhokhar has a long road ahead of him. Please pray with me that his story turn out to be one of forgiveness and redemption. Our God is powerful. He can redeem even this evil.
Things in Boston are pretty weird right now. On Monday, 2 bombs at the Boston Marathon killed 3 and wounded hundreds. Last night, mayhem broke out above the river as the two suspects in the bombing case killed an MIT police officer, maybe robbed a 7-11, jacked someone’s car and held him/her hostage, led police on a chase, maybe set off some bombs, and engaged police in a firefight. In parts of Cambridge and Watertown, last night sounded like a Grand Theft Auto video game.
For most of the day, the entire city of Boston was on lockdown as thousands of gun-toting public servants searched for the remaining suspect. The other suspect, along with an MIT police officer, died last night in the mayhem. Until a couple minutes ago, we had been ordered to stay indoors and the T had been shut down.
Let us all pray for Boston. Let us mourn with the mourners of the dead victims. Let us mourn the losses of limbs from living victims. Let us pray for healing for the living victims. Let us pray for discernment and wisdom for our public officials in this trying time. Let us pray for safety and well being for the many citizens of this city. Let us pray for safety and well being for the thousands of public servants putting their lives on the line for us right now. This list is by no means comprehensive, but let us pray for all we can think to pray for.
Let us also pray for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev–the man being hunted. Assuming that Dzhokhar is guilty, then he has most definitely persecuted Bostonians—even more, he’s intentionally killed, maimed and therefore degraded their humanity and all order to society. He is most definitely our enemy (that is, if he is guilty of these crimes (which definitely seems to be the case)).
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:43-45).
Yes. We should pray for our neighbors. We should also pray for our enemies (I’m not saying that we should just let him go free–the Lord is also just and justice will be given hopefully in this life but certainly also in a final judgement). Dzhokhar appears to be an enemy. Among other prayers, let us pray for him:
“Lord, you created Dzhokhar. We ask that you would bestow grace on him. Bless this enemy of ours as you have blessed us–people who were once your enemies. Lord, we pray for peace for Dzhokhar and that he would come to know you. Amen.”