National Day of Remembrance

  • Sept. 11, 2015
  • #8705

We need not be dismayed in the battle against terrorism. Our weapons are spiritual, mighty through prayer to overcome forces of darkness.

National Day of Remembrance

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada on this National Day of Remembrance.   

Not long ago I was talking to some high school kids about 9-11 and it struck me that most of them were hardly out of their diapers when tragedy and terror struck our shores that day. Their only recollections of 9-11 were a brief history lesson in school, or hearing their parents reflect on that fateful day when so many Americans lost their lives. But for me, and probably for you, too, we can still remember where we were and what we were doing when the news flashed on the television. And to this day, I still tear up when I hear families speak of their loved ones; firefighters, policemen, all who perished on 9-11.

In fact, recently I attended a patriotic celebration where they showed pictures of the twin towers in flames, and the smoke filled streets, and images of first responders who hurried into the buildings. And what can I say; I could not hold back the tears. I felt the same way when I visited the Ground Zero memorial in New York City. It was a warm, breezy afternoon and Ken and I, along with our friends, wandered through the plaza, past the trees, until we stopped at the edge of one of the waterfalls, it was the size of the footprint of a twin tower. The closer we got, the louder the roar of the water, and when we looked over the edge, we saw water cascading down, down into this black, dark basin. It was so moving, and I couldn’t help but cry then, especially when I saw the names etched into the bronze panels surrounding the two pools of water.  

So, why the tears on a day like this? Why cry so easily at the Ground Zero memorial? What is it about 9-11 that causes an aching knot in your chest? And why is it that so many young people, people who were not a part of the 9/11 experience, why is that they don’t cry? Perhaps it’s because they have no firsthand knowledge of what was lost on that day. Many of us, rather, most of us, knew that the world would never be the same; that America would never be the same. We had lost the communal sense of safety. Before, terrorism was something that happened on far distant shores, but not now. On that day, September 11, when we watched those towers exploded in flames, we knew that life from then on out would be altered. But not defeated.

Because although we are still engaged in a great struggle against terrorism, you and I are not idle bystanders; we are not casual onlookers. The jihadists who perpetuate terror are part of a dark spiritual stronghold; and wicked, spiritual strongholds are enemies that Christians know how to engage. God wants us to dismantle these strongholds through powerful prayer. It’s why Psalm 149 says, “Let the saints rejoice in this honor. May the praise of God be in their mouths (and get this) and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance… and punishment… to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints.”

Friend, that prayer is all about us wrestling in prayer against the forces of darkness. Our prayers are a double-edged sword. We can bind workers of iniquity through our prayers. God can use our prayers to carry out his sentence against them. And it is the glory of every Christian to partner with the Holy Spirit through prayer, especially in these dark times. So don’t allow feelings of regret to dissuade you; don’t be demoralized by the struggle. You have a powerful part to play beginning on this anniversary of 9-11 and that part is through prayer. Let me hear from you today on my Facebook page or you can always post a comment on my Blog at


© Joni and Friends


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