In response to all of the calls for prayer in the face of violence:
Martin Luther King, Jr, “The Answer to a Perplexing Question” (Strength to Love, p 138): “The idea that man expects God to do everything leads inevitably to a callous misuse of prayer. For if God does everything, man then asks him for anything, and God becomes little more than a ‘cosmic bellhop’ who is summoned for every trivial need. Or God is considered so omnipotent and man so powerless that prayer is a substitute for work and intelligence. A man said to me, ‘I believe in integration, but I know it will not come until God wants it to come. You Negroes should stop protesting and start praying.’ I am certain we need to pray for God’s help and guidance in this integration struggle, but we are gravely misled if we think the struggle will be won only by prayer. God, who gave us minds for thinking and bodies for working, would defeat his own purpose if he permitted us to obtain through prayer what may come through work and intelligence. Prayer is a marvelous and necessary supplement of our feeble efforts, but it is a dangerous substitute. When Moses strove to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, God made it clear that he would not do for them what they could do for themselves… We must pray with unceasing passion for racial justice, but we must also use our minds to develop a program, organize ourselves into mass nonviolent action, and employ every resource of our bodies and souls to bring an end to racial injustice.”
This is a calling of a leader of the past for us, Jesus body, to stand on our feet and walk the path of justice and peace in the face of violent oppression. Embodying peace, salvation and good news and inviting others into it with us is the gospel, because Jesus is the only real king.