Bowing in the Bedlam

Woman Bowed Head

A new headline, a fresh tragedy.

Every day, everywhere, hate blaring and evil scaring.

Fear shrouds itself in hostility. Hurt drapes itself in aggression. Evil masquerades as a cause.

Confusion engulfs the decent and well-intentioned. In the melee, reason is trampled. Chaos and carnage creep closer.

And how do we respond?

Some shake their heads.

They try to walk away. They carry on with life, as if it is all contained within a screen… nothing more than the latest R-rated release.

Some freeze in terror.

Unable to cope. Unsure how to move, live, respond. Depression and anxiety steal their days.

Some jump into action.

Whether joining a protest or the front lines, they become activists or civil servants or join our armed forces. They find relief in doing something.

Many run to social media.

Pontificating, arguing, discussing, opining, defending, attacking, sharing, persuading. Words are their weapons fueling the fire or an olive branch begging for peace. Again, it’s a comfort, a sense that they are doing something…anything.

Many mourn.

And we should. It’s heartbreaking. Watching souls ripped open, spilling the harsh truth of the human condition—the brokenness, the desperation, the emptiness exposed for all to see—how can we not grieve?

And then I hear or read or even echo the lament: “I feel so helpless. So powerless. All I can do is pray.”

I can only pray.

And it is there the Holy Spirit stops me.



Descriptors that should never—cannot ever—be attached to prayer. Words strung together into phrases that belie my feeble faith. As if our calamities are so big and unusual and historic, that somehow praying to our Father God has become a meager offering, the sole option of the weak.

If I—if we truly understood and believed the power in prayer, if we could begin to grasp and believe the power and compassion of the One to whom we pray, ”all” and “only” would never dare cross our lips. Hope would displace our despair, and we would be quick to counter any disaster with a bold and fervent:

We Can Pray!

And we would pray.

We wouldn’t toss up a quick “God save our country” at each new headline.

We wouldn’t bow our head at the next meal and throw out a passing “Help us, Lord.”

We would bow ourselves, interceding on behalf of our families, our communities, our nation, our world. We would follow the examples of Abraham and Moses and so many more and fall to our faces, seeking His glory and mercy and forgiveness. We would cry out, with groans from our souls. Tears would spill our sorrows and pour out our grief.

We would acknowledge and revere and praise His omnipotence, His might, His holiness. Repentance would flow from our depths:

Forgive our sins and forgive the sins of our nation. 

Change our hearts. Save us so the world may know you are the Lord!

We would humble ourselves, and our lives would never look the same.

Then He would hear. Then He would heal. Then His kingdom would be furthered. Then His people would be saved. And His name would be made great.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

Believers, the time has come. It is time to stop hanging our heads in defeat, shaking our heads in confusion, shrugging our shoulders in helplessness.

It is time to stop scrolling through the channels, searching for the next distraction.

It is time to stop spouting our opinions and reasoning with madness.

It is time to stop looking to someone else to heal what is broken in this land.

It is time for each of us to stop and sit in the pain of this world. To let it soak into our souls. To let it penetrate our hearts. Until we are broken enough that we actually start to pray. Really, truly, earnestly pray.

When did we last let tears soak our pillows on behalf of our community?

Our nation?

Our world?

The lost?

When did we allow the aching of souls to draw us unreservedly to the only eternal Hope?

This is a call to prayer—prayer that is more than a hope and a wish. Prayer that believes and claims God’s promises.

This God we serve and claim to love, how real is He to us?

If we believe in the God of the Bible—in His promises, in His presence, in His power—we will stand in the gap. We will pray knowing that it’s not the only thing we can do…it is the single most important, powerful, and transformative thing we must do.

If we believe, we will pray humbly and valiantly, knowing that——–

Powerlessness perishes with prayer.

Please pray with me, on your knees, every single day. Pray that God will make His name great through the restoration of this nation, through the saving of lost souls, through extraordinary acts of mercy on and through His people. Pray expectantly, remembering:

We serve the God of torches, trumpets and clay pots.

The God of smooth stones and sling shots.

The God who seals shut the mouths of lions and opens wide the mouths of graves.

We serve the God of the impossible…who hears and answers and saves.

Your DoAhead Friend,


About Dana Boyd

Dana is a lifelong lover of words with a passion for sharing stories of the heart—both her own and others. Her writings draw from her experiences as a woman, a writer, a wife, a mother of three, and a Bible-believing Jesus follower. She is a defender of truth, an avid proponent of common sense and a recovering (often relapsing) perfectionist still learning to lean in to grace. Her writing is an honest outpouring of her introverted heart, driven by a longing to inspire others to feel deeply, think critically and act compassionately. Dana shares her words as a monthly contributor at DoAhead Woman.


  1. All I can say is “Wow!” Thank you, Dana! This really impacted me, I shared to my timeline believing it will make a difference in all who read it.

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