Praying for New Braunfels

Wednesday afternoon thirteen members of the congregation of First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas, died in a terrifying automobile accident.

I can’t imagine what those families, the church, or that pastor is going through.

On Wednesday fourteen senior adults from the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels (near San Antonio) left a three day singing and Bible Study retreat to return home. Only seven miles from the camp they were hit head on by a large pickup truck. Twelve people in the van died on the scene and one died later. The driver of the pickup and the remaining passenger in the church van are in critical condition.

It is simply terrifying to consider.

I want to ask you to pray for this congregation and these families. The question is, “How do we pray when we don’t know how to pray?”

Let me suggest several areas of prayer.

First, pray for those grieving families. Ask for God’s comfort and encouragement for them in the midst of this sudden tragedy.

Second, pray for the city and the church to come alongside those families to help them grieve and to recover.

Third, pray for the congregation and the pastor. As a pastor, I don’t want to think of what I would say or how I would minister in such a situation. Ask God’s blessings on Brad McLean, the senior pastor, and on the other pastors of the church.

Finally, ask God to help you know how to pray. I take great comfort in the words of Paul’s Letter to the Romans: “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will” (Romans 8:26-27).

Situations like this one are so terribly difficult. There are so many things we don’t understand. Let us pray for all those who struggle and let us seek to bring good out of sorrow by trusting in the God who works for good on our behalf (Romans 8:28).

Each day I write a devotional about life and Scripture. If you would like to receive your own copy in your inbox each morning, you can subscribe at or in the box below.



  1. Jill Stogner
    Mar 31, 2017

    Waylon, our Steve’s daughters, Allyson and Andie, were related to Sue Tysdale, one of the women on that church bus. She was the mother of their step-dad, Dustyn Tysdale. and was our girls “Gram”. She lived next door to Doris and Dustyn, so our girls spent many hours with them in the afternoon after school. The grandfather passed away some months ago after suffering for years with ALS and now the family must face losing the grandmother also. I know they would definitely appreciate the prayers for them and for all the other families that are facing the same sorrow. They are comforted that every person that died in that tragic accident are with the Lord this very moment, Thank you and all who lift them up in pray.
    Jill Stogner

  2. The Millers
    Mar 31, 2017

    Praying & thankful for The Holy Spirit’s intercession on our behalf.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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[Life by the Spirit] You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. — Galatians 5:13 (NIV)