When bullets and prayer fight, which one wins? Michael was a strong, Christlike guy leading an effective student ministry. One Thursday, just a couple of blocks from school, Michael’s classmate was killed and another wounded in a shooting.
The next day, the whole campus was tense. Everyone expected retaliation. The principal called in various student leaders to get their help in keeping peace. Michael said, “The Christian club is planning to pray at lunchtime on the rally stage in the middle of the Quad.”
They started with just a few, but soon 150 students were praying together. They talked to God openly and loudly. And peace reigned on the campus.
Monday came. On his way to school, Michael felt God leading him to call another prayer meeting. That day, over two hundred kids showed up to pray all through lunch! That was a peaceful day too.
Several days later a few kids walked up to Michael. One said, “On Friday, we had planned to get even, but we saw you guys praying. We just couldn’t do it. Then we planned to start a big fi ght at school on Monday, but you guys were praying again. Again, we just couldn’t do it!”
Prayer beat bullets!
God uses all kinds of methods to stop evil — even floods.
Genesis 6–9 tells the story of a time when everyone was evil. Moses wrote that everyone was so evil that God was sorry that He had created human beings—He was “grieved.”
Then God created a way to help and save people. God must and will punish sin, but He always provides a way to forgive and rescue His people.
Jesus is living proof that God wants to forgive us!
At that time, God could find only a few people in all the earth who weren’t totally messed up: Noah’s family. God decided to send aflood to wipe out all the evildoers and their work. Sin had to be punished, yet God would provide a way for His creation to continue. Noah’s story is an amazing story of rescue.
God warned Noah’s family and gave them plans for a boat. Noah built a boat big enough to carry food and provisions that would ensure the survival of his family and all the species of land animals. He begged his neighbors to believe him and to join his family on the boat. No one listened. In fact, they made fun of Noah.
When the flood came, everyone drowned except Noah and those who were with him. After the floodwaters receded, God made a covenant (contract) with Noah. God promised to never again destroy the whole earth by flooding. And God marked this covenant with Noah by sending a rainbow. God said, “When... the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember” (9:16). Even today, a rainbow is God’s reminder of His covenant faithfulness.
In both Michael’s and Noah’s stories, God overcame evil. He doesn’t always work the way we expect or in our time frame, but God always takes action, and He will ultimately win.
The story of Noah can be hard to understand.
* >> Why didn’t Noah just pray for God to save all the people?
* >> Why didn’t God stop the evil without all the death and destruction?
* >> Why does God stop evil sometimes but not other times?
Those may be questions you are wondering, not just in Noah’s story but in the stories of your friends. What we do know is that in the end God will conquer all evil. We have to pray, obey, and trust. Every time you see a rainbow, remember God and His love.