Church leaders in the City of Lights are asking for prayer for their city.
Worldwide, the body of Christ is mourning with Paris. On Friday 13th November 2015, ISIS terrorists launched the most devastating attack on Paris since World War II, leaving at least 129 killed and 352 injured.
The team at Redeemer City to City, New York City, recently shared via Facebook that all of their pastors and church members are safe, but several were at the scene of the attacks last week and are severely shaken.
Pastors in Paris bear a great burden, and they need our prayers as they lead their churches, communities, and families in processing these events, amidst the pain and turmoil. They’ll be seeking to heal wounds with wise and gentle biblical counsel, to counter hatred with Christ-like love, and to advance peace through the hope of the gospel.
How can you pray for and with pastors in Paris? Christianity Today has shared answers from four pastors on the scene, which not only provide insight into how we can best intercede, but also provide models of how pastors can respond to a community crisis. Below are two of their responses. To read the full article click here.
David Brown, pastor of Eglise Protestante Evangélique de Paris-Villiers (the church is affiliated with France-Mission, a French church planting movement)
This weekend in Paris the atmosphere has been very subdued. A lot of people stayed indoors, and there is a general feeling of bewilderment, anger, shock, and fear.
Our church held its normal services. We felt a real spirit of unity yesterday. We tried to work through a Christian response to the attacks, and prayed for the city and each other. The #prayforparis reaction has been a real encouragement to us because there were as many tweets in 10 hours as for #jesuisCharlie earlier in the year over a period of five days. Paris needs your prayers—especially as the very secular French media hardly mentioned the pray for Paris hashtag.
As a church we long for these prayers to lead to conversions. Our church is in the Western part of Central Paris, and the three western "arrondissements" of Paris have a population of 580,000 inhabitants but only half a dozen small evangelical churches.
Jason Procopio, pastor of Église Connexion: Église protestante évangélique à Paris Châtelet-Les Halles
I have a wife and small boy. We live just over a mile from where the attacks took place, so it was frightening for us as well. Pray that my wife and I might faithfully remember the hope we have in Christ, and wisdom to be able to boldly communicate that hope to others.
Several of our members were in the area when it happened. Five managed to make it to our apartment and spent the night here; three others had to hide out in restaurant cellars until the next morning. Thankfully, everyone made it out all right. Please pray that our congregation (mostly young singles) would remember their hope in Christ, and that they would have wisdom to respond to their unbelieving colleagues and friends about what has happened.
Paris was already a potential powder keg of racism; events like this light the fuse. Please pray that Parisians would resist the urge to be fearful of every Arab man they see, and that the authorities would know how to respond to this wisely and effectively.
Our main request would be that this event might cause the gospel to move forward in this very secular city. After the attacks, #PrayForParis started sweeping the Internet; a huge number of Parisians responded by saying, ‘Thank you for the sentiment, but we don’t need more prayers. We've got enough religion already.’ Please pray that God might use this event to sovereignly soften rather than harden them to the truth of the gospel.