How to Pray for the Fallen

I’m sure by now most everyone has heard of the sad news regarding the arrest of Matt Pitt, founder of the youth ministry, The Basement. I debated and prayed for several days about whether or not to post anything, and if so, if it should be a whole blog post or just a post on our Facebook page. I also wanted to be careful not to just post my opinion on the situation. See, I’m the wife of a Birmingham police officer, so I have strong feelings regarding the case.

One of the tragedies, though, in any situation where a well-known person gets into trouble, is the onslaught of public opinion that person, and their family, have to endure. No matter how deserving the person is of the arrest/trouble they’ve brought on themselves, the comments are horribly abusive. We forget it’s a real person with real feelings, and that but for the grace of God, we could find ourselves in a very similar situation someday.

So how should we, as Christians who are called to pray, respond? I think one of the first things we must do is choose to fast from our opinion and emotions about the situation. I had to choose to set them aside, because otherwise, I was too angry at the pride that caused such wrong choices, at foolishness, at sin. I was too hurt for all the young people who are very hurt and confused because of these events by someone they greatly admired. I feared for the direct harm he may have caused some of those young people, if they got sucked into his bad choices. I could not hear how the Holy Spirit wanted me to pray with all of those emotions and opinions drowning out His voice. It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t feel those things, but that I need to choose to lay them at the feet of Jesus.

The next and real first thing we do is pray for Matt Pitt. If we still can’t bring ourselves to pray as we ought, and are tempted to either pray for his complete downfall so that he “gets what he deserves”, as some comments have said, or if we are tempted to pray for so much grace that he gets off scott-free, then we can turn to Scripture and pray the Scriptures.

We can pray out of Genesis 50:20 by praying, “God, what the devil and man have meant for evil, You meant it for good. We pray that You would cause Matt Pitt’s present result to accomplish Your purposes, to bring many people to You.”

We can pray out of the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13 – “Heavenly Father, You are holy and Your name is holy. Would you preserve and display Your holiness in the face of this public fall-out from a Christian leader’s bad choices? Let Your kingdom come through Your people, and let it stand in stark contrast to the kingdom of darkness. We pray that Your will would be done for Matt Pitt and The Basement here on the earth, as it already is in Heaven. Cause Matt to feed daily on Your Word so that He can receive Your forgiveness that You freely grant to all who sin and have fallen. Deliver him from the evil that has gotten a hold of his life right now. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Those are just two examples of how we can use Scripture to pray for Matt Pitt and any leader who lets us down by succumbing to sin. This kind of praying does not excuse their sin, nor does it condemn him. We have no right to do either of those things. This kind of praying lines us up with the heart of God for all of His children. May we all be so blessed to receive such prayers on our behalf in our time of need.

What are some other Scripture-based prayers the Lord has led you to pray for Matt Pitt, or the The Basement ministry?

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