Evil assaulted the Church this week in Charleston, SC. While social media erupted with compassion, and political bandwagons rolled out, #prayforcharleston trended to the top of the charts. Far fewer realize they missed the opening ceremonies at this most recent battleground.
It is not coincidental that there was a day of prayer in Charleston last Saturday and an attack of evil this week.
God is real and so is the devil. This IS spiritual warfare. God IS in control.
Saturday, June 13th, the city of Charleston hosted a Prayer Event billed as The Response. Governor Nikki Haley took a prominent lead in calling Christians to fast and pray for the entire nation. Event speakers –pray-ers – included numerous high-profile individuals but “no logo, no ego” was the plan for the day. It was a day of humility … a day of bowing before the King of Kings.
“Our country is in crisis because we are a people who are no longer honoring God in our prosperity or humbly calling on Him in our predicaments … The call of God to His people in times of great trouble is to gather together and call on Him with one voice, one heart, and a unified desire to see great blessing and great glory come to our nation again. The power of unified prayer from a humble gathering of the saints is found in the hope that He might answer us once again, and turn the tide of our trouble and the host of threats that stand against us.”
So was that hope misplaced? Absolutely not! The presence of God is clear in many ways. The stated desire of the shooter was to start a “race war.” The response of Charleston, of South Carolina, of the nation—and of Christians in particular—has been clear. God does not hate; His people cannot hate. From individuals to the government, a God-glorifying response can be heard:
“These people are the heroic examples of the church. They didn’t push anyone aside because of race or the way that ‘person’ appeared … they didn’t say you can’t come into our sanctuary … they didn’t say you can’t sit next to our pastor … they didn’t say you can’t join in and learn about our God with us.” Facebook Post
“As we work to begin the healing process after this terrible tragedy, our focus is to lift up the nine families in prayer. Many people from around the country have asked how they can show support. The Mother Emanuel Hope Fund has been established to help support the needs of these families and the church during this time.” Nikki Haley, SC Governor
“Hatred can only produce one of two things … Either more hatred or true, authentic love. What happened in Charleston was hatred and blatantly put pure evil. Remember this … when someone wrongs you God judges two things: What they did … and how you responded!!!” SC resident
Jesus Christ promised that the gates of hell cannot prevail over the Church. That means we must mobilize in prayer and storm those very gates. Young men like the shooter are captive to the enemy. The Church must love … and the Church will suffer. Love suffers long. Jesus won the war; the Church WILL prevail but the war rages!
The organizers of The Response now call Christians to deeper, more fervent prayer. Numerous prayer vigils already have taken place. More are planned; many will gather in Charleston today.
Will you share a prayer of repentance, forgiveness and unity below?