Heavenly Father, our hearts break over the more than 300 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen from a school in north-western Nigeria Friday. Lord, we are so weary of this terrible pattern of girls and boys being taken hostage by terrorists or bandits in order to gain ransom money! We pray that this cycle will be broken! We pray for good plans by the schools, government and communities for how to prevent this from happening. May leaders and parents think creatively and ingeniously about how to prevent this terrible practice. May they find the resources and cooperation from others to implement plans. We pray for powerful working in the hearts of those who resort to this traumatic crime. May they feel convicted of the wickedness of their ways. May they see how hurtful this is to the children. May they choose to take another path in life, finding viable options for providing for themselves and their families. Finally, Lord, we pray for these schoolgirls, who are in the terrifying first hours of their ordeal even now. Guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Protect them. May they escape quickly and safely. We pray for a great work to be done among their captors, which will ultimately lead to the willing release of these captives. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, amen.