As you pray for everyone involved in the tragedy at Virginia Tech, please remember to pray for the following specific needs in addition to the obvious needs of the victims and their families.
• The police officers and rescue workers witnessed a horrible crime scene. Some FBI officers said it was the worst crime scene they have ever seen. I know one EMT who had to leave because she became physically ill. Please pray for these men and women and for their emotional healing.
• Many Christians are involved in campus ministries. These couples and individuals are physically and emotionally exhausted, as you can imagine. Please pray for God to provide rest and for them to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to lift up the name of Christ and the hope we have in Him.
• Local social service workers are providing help and some grief counseling to the families of those who were killed or wounded. One of my very good friends is involved in this, and she is also on emotional overload. These social workers are helping in very practical ways (filling out paperwork so the families can claim the bodies of their loved ones and hunting down students’ cars in the many parking lots at Tech) and they are providing mental health help as well. As my friend Angie said, “I’m just trying to do my job, be helpful, take care of my children, take care of my husband, and say the name of Jesus as many times as I can in a day without getting in trouble.” Please pray for these social workers.
• The doctors and nurses at area hospitals have probably never been faced with treating so many victims with multiple gunshot wounds before. I imagine it has been a very emotional time for them as well. We also need to remember the coroners whose job it has been to clean and care for the bodies of those who were killed and perhaps even prepare the bodies for open-casket funeral services. Psychologists, psychiatrists, ministers, and mental health professionals are counseling with students, victims, professors, families, police officers, families of police officers, rescue workers, and others. Please pray for all of these people in the medical profession and mental health profession.
• Some of the professors who died have children who are in our local school system. A man in our church teaches two of the children who have experienced the death of a parent. Please pray for the teachers of these children.
• There have been several threats made to school officials, town officials, and local schools. The public school system and some private schools have closed for the entire week because of safety issues. These children cannot be put in lock-down mode several times a day as investigators respond to threats. Please pray for God’s hand of protection and for these threats to end and for the safety of everyone. And please pray that schools can resume normally next week.
• Somebody has to clean Norris Hall before it can be used again. Can you imagine cleaning such a crime scene? Please pray for whoever has to clean it.
• Finally, the media presence is unreal. There are hundreds and hundreds of media representatives on campus and in the town of Blacksburg. Please pray for them to show decency and restraint and not to sensationalize this event and for them not to manipulate and use people for a story or ratings. Please pray for Christians to have influence and for the testimony of those who knew Christ to be broadcast widely and for the name of Christ to be glorified above all.