“The murdered victims were in a church,” actor Wil Wheaton famously tweeted at House Speaker Paul Ryan, referencing the victims in Sunday’s mass murder at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. “If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive.”

Although Wheaton later apologized for his outburst, his sentiment has been widely expressed by many non-believers in the wake of the latest shooting spree to devastate the nation. Writing for the Daily Signal, of which she is the managing editor, Katrina Trinko (’09) offers a thoughtful, heartfelt response, Why I Pray, Even After the Texas Shooting.

Katrina Trinko (’09)
Katrina Trinko (’09)“Of course, there’s no contradiction between praying and taking action,” Miss Trinko begins. “In this particular case, current laws already should have prevented the shooter, Devin Kelley, from obtaining a gun — and it certainly makes sense for Americans to demand the Air Force take action to ensure anyone else with a record like the shooter’s is entered in the correct databases so this doesn’t happen again. But you can do that — and keep praying.”

From there Miss Trinko recounts her own personal experiences with prayer, including prayers that were answered just as she hoped they would be — and prayers that were not.

When I pray after Texas, or after a personal tragedy, or after seeing another loved one be hurt, I don’t do so with an expectation that this prayer will finally break the cycle of evil and suffering, that never again will I or someone I love be devastated by suffering.

Instead, I try to trust. I remember that Jesus Himself, on the eve of his crucifixion, prayed that “may this cup be taken from me”—and yet He went on to be crucified.

I pray for faith, and for trust, and for understanding and for, if there must be more suffering in my life, that I be able to bear it well …

Prayer, at the end of the day, isn’t about trying to do that one simple trick to end human suffering. For me, it’s so often simply to be in the presence of God, to allow my own petty heart to be changed by being in His presence.

The full article is available via the Daily Signal. Please continue to keep the victims in Sutherland Springs, as well their families and loved ones, in your prayers.