When confronted with a tragedy like this, even the words that do come to mind seem empty compared to the gravity and magnitude of the suffering that people are experiencing. My wife is pregnant with our fourth child and the grief involved is unfathomable. We say things like "thoughts and prayers to those affected," but the reality is that we feel helpless. In those moments, prayer is a resource like no other, because God is not helpless.
It is a time when we cling to Romans 8:26 and know that our prayers are lifted to God by the Holy Spirit Himself on behalf of the lives that are destroyed.
"We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (Romans 8:26)
We experience an intense mix of emotions from grief to anger. Righteous anger towards sinfulness in our world reflects the character of God, yet we remember that vengeance is the Lord's (Romans 12:9), and our primary efforts are to love those who suffer with the love of Jesus Christ. That same verse says, "leave room for God's wrath," a startling reminder that while God is merciful, He is also just. He deals with sin in His infinite wisdom and righteousness. We know that He is still sovereign, and we know that He is love.
[Read the rest of the article at Reasons for Hope.]