Prayers for the Tragedy in Thousand Oaks, California

Dear Eastern Community,

While our hearts are still reeling over the tragedy at the Tree of Life synagogue, we are grieving once again today with the news of last night’s shooting at a college country music night in Thousand Oaks, California.

This tragedy particularly moves our hearts because of the Christian University students from Pepperdine and California Lutheran who were at the bar and grill where the shooting took place.

Will you please join me in praying for these university students, their families, and the larger communities that are currently devastated by this shooting?

“Lord Jesus, how your heart must break over these acts of violence. You who cried over Lazarus’ death are surely mourning with us now. Comfort the hearts of those grieving today, and strengthen our hearts to press on in bringing your kingdom to a world that so desperately needs it.”

Brothers and sisters, in the wake of multiple tragedies such as these, it can be tempting to lose heart. May I encourage us that these tragedies are all the more a reminder of the importance of the faith we share and work that we do. Whether you are a student studying to bring good to the world through your chosen field, a faculty member investing in the next generation, or a staff member making the mission of Eastern University a reality, your work is greatly needed.

Let us continue to pray as Jesus taught us, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10) Let us mourn with those who mourn as Jesus showed us. And let us press on like the One who went before us, “because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Cor 15:58)

Grace and peace,

Dr. Ronald A. Matthews, President of Eastern University