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Life and Death in Philadelphia

September 29, 2013

Urban decay in South Philadelphia, PA, Photo by pwbaker, Source (CC-BY-2.0 Generic)

Violence in Philadelphia has been unrelenting over the past ten years.  Children as young as three are regularly killed in drive-by shootings.  A few horrific incidents stay with us.   The rest blur together, one death as meaningless as the next.

Teenage brothers were shot to death during a home invasion.  The murders, like many others, were thought to be drug related.  The body of a pregnant woman with young children was found in an abandoned lot by vagrants.  It had been stripped and smeared with peanut butter to attract rodents.

The horror prompts us to turn away. But that is not what Jesus would have us do.  These lives are not worthless to Him, however random and pointless the deaths may seem.

Now you shall say to this people, ‘Thus says the Lord:  “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death” ’ ” (Jer. 21: 8).

Lord God, our cities are devastated – the lives of the men, women, and children in them shattered by violence.

Knowing that You are the Redeemer, that it is You this world so desperately needs, we plead for those around us.  We cannot bear the loss of another child, Lord.  We cry out to You, for there is no other hope.

Over and over, You have set before us the way of life and the way of death.  Bring repentance and revival to our nation.  Turn our hearts again to You that we may choose life.



  1. Interesting as I read this three year old post Anna,is your comment that “We cry out to You,for there is no other hope”. How much has changed in three short years! How much more has violence increased? How many more children murdered by unfeeling,heartless monsters? Our streets are bathed in the blood of children whose only crime was being trapped in a never ending cycle of poverty and despair.

    The devastation that ravages our nation and robs our children of their futures continues unabated. All this while billions of dollars are earmarked for programs that can never change the heart of a once great nation. One has to wonder how much further must we descend into the abyss before we repent before God for our deeds.

    As you so wonderfully stated,”turn our hearts again to You…” There really is no other answer.

    • You are always a great encouragement to me, Ron. My heart breaks for Philadelphia, and all the cities like it. Only God can save us from ourselves.

      • You have been given extraordinary gifts Anna,and the Lord is using those gifts to speak to this nation one person at a time,one blog post at a time.
        My prayer is that you will continue to be a voice calling this nation to repentance.

      • I am immensely gratified that you would think so highly of me, Ron. I hardly deserve such praise. But it is my prayer, too, that God may use the blogs for some good.

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