We lost family and it hurts. I am deeply saddened by the senseless killing in SC. My heart breaks for the families of those who were killed and for the church who lost prayer warriors. A part of our Church family has been tragically and horribly removed from this world in a heinous and unthinkable way. My mind cannot wrap itself around it and yet it stands as a sobering reminder of how fleeting life is. May the families and church draw courage and strength from the well that is Christ and may they release any bitter feelings to God in forgiveness. I know this won’t be easy, I will be praying for them. May God be glorified in this tragedy and may His manifest Presence be tangibly felt.
I know this isn’t a popular sentiment, but it should be- if we are Christians, it should be -my heart also breaks for the shooter. He is only twenty-one; young, barely old enough to make some of life’s biggest decisions and yet he made a decision that will profoundly affect the rest of his life. And he is not the only one. I am curious as to what drove him to it, what drives others? I know what the motivation in the spiritual is – it’s our common enemy, but what is its manifestation in the natural that has driven the human heart to hate so much as to take another human life? My prayer is that he accepts the forgiveness of Christ and receives salvation in Him. God is rich in mercy and there is no sin so great that He won’t forgive.
If we were to peel the skin off of every human being, the only thing differentiating us from one another would be our anatomical parts and even then we would be only male and female. We have muscle, bone, tendons, ligaments, nerves, internal organs, etc. Beneath the skin, we are the same. It is our uniquely designed outward appearance that makes us different from one another and it is our outward appearance that somehow fuels hatred in the hearts of others. However, we are all human. We laugh, we cry, we feel things deeply, we reproduce and we strive for better lives. This is part of our humanity. It is our signature in this world.
Young children are fearless and friendly. They experience life with zest, wonder and awe. They learn life from the others around them. Prejudice, hatred, and conditional love are learned through the responses of parents, siblings, teachers and other people. It often seems easier to teach someone to hate and focus on the negative than teach the bold courage of love. But we need teachers of love. If we are to truly be the model of Christ, we must extend forgiveness and love in every circumstance and we must teach the children to do the same.
Our young people are under assault. The enemy targets them and feeds them lies the world helps them chew, swallow and digest. Church, we must no longer sit idly by expecting someone else to rise up and fight. It is our duty to fight for our young people, and this fight is best done on our knees and in our homes. Oh Lord, that we would have compassionate and merciful hearts, always responding from a place of love and never reacting from our flesh no matter the wound! That we would teach our children to value people and value life, teach them to see beyond the surface to the potential beneath and to be boldly courageous in loving others.
As we move into the 11th week of praying over our jars of dirt on behalf of our nation, I wanted to take a moment to remind us to pray for the other intercessors along on this journey. Each state will have its own territorial spirits, its own assigned strong men; we contend not only with them on a national level, but also state. Let us lift each other up to strengthen, encourage, edify and cover.
If we believe we have come up against a territorial spirit, let us enlist help and wait for the Holy Spirit to lead us into battle. We are not try to tackle this on our own, or outside of the Spirit’s timing.
As I traveled back home from Virginia last week with dirt from both Washington DC and Maryland and placed it in the cabinet with the other jars, I realized how careful I must be. My house is currently home to 14 jars of dirt from across the country, and one of them is the seat of our great nation, with more dirt on its way. Darkness cannot abide where light is and my home is a place where God resides, yet this will not stop darkness from trying to encroach. We have stirred up and ticked off our adversary, and while we may not yet see fruit or answers to our prayers in the natural, we have begun to cause a shift in the spiritual. I am asking for help praying for DC. We each are covering our respective states, but I am asking for support in praying for our nation’s capitol. I am sensing a lot of push-back in the spirit realm and cannot do this on my own.
Let us pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this great nation, for Your great grace, Your great mercy, Your great love! Thank You for counting us worthy of this calling and for equipping us to stand strong, stand firm and stand in faith, praying heaven into earth! Thank You for the covering of Your Shadow and the shelter of Your Wings, for we know we find rest there. We stand before You now, lifting up our Brothers and Sisters who have picked up the mantle of intercession for our nation, who are following Your prophetic act of speaking life and love over a jar of dirt; we ask for Your hand of blessing and favor over each of the intercessors – blessings of refreshment, revival, and renewal; blessings of stamina, endurance and strength; blessings of discernment, wisdom and strategic insight, and most importantly, the blessing of Your Presence. We understand there is no distance in the Spirit, may we be united in prayer for this nation, may we have wisdom in knowing the times and seasons, and may we connect with each other in the Spirit. There is no one like You, Father, and we know that what You have given us, it is for our benefit. So, as we lift up our shields of Faith, proudly and boldly wearing our helmets of salvation, breastplates of righteousness and belts of truth, knowing our feet are shod with the sandals of the Gospel of Peace and we are armed with the Sword of the Spirit, we stand firm and shout “Grace, Grace to it!”. We give You all glory, all honor, all praise and all worship. In Jesus’ name, we pray. AMEN!
This week’s directives:
- Speak blessing, not cursing over your jar, remembering to tell it how much you love it and how much God loves it.
- Speak healing over the land and agricultural areas.
- Speak life and blessing over the children of your state. Generations to come must be covered.
- For states getting hit hard with major weather patterns, Isaiah 59:19 came to mind today, as well as Mark 4:39. Pray for no loss of life, for missing to be found, and for angelic hosts to minister in those areas as needed.
- Declare God’s righteous government within your state, for Christians to rise up and realize ministry is not only within “church” buildings, but also in political arenas, schools, legal fields, etc. Let us pray for a new definition of “ministry”!
Blessings, Hugs and Love!
Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here’ (Luke 10:33-35 New Living Translation).
In this parable, a despised Samaritan stops to help the man who was beaten and left on the roadside. He soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine, and even bandaged them to keep them from becoming dirty and infected. He gave up his comfortable ride and put the wounded man on his donkey, taking him to an inn for further care. He needed to move on, yet he entrusted the wounded man to the innkeeper to nurse the man back to health, and promised to pay for any extra care the next time he was there.
In this parable, Jesus depicts Himself as the Samaritan – despised by the Jews, yet full of compassion for man. Jesus meets us where we are, no matter how dirty, how beaten, how sick or sore or sweaty or bloody we are, He soothes and bandages our wounds. He won’t leave us in our despondent state, He puts us on His ride and takes us to a place where we can be nursed back to health, and He trusts us to the care of the innkeeper, the Holy Spirit, promising to pay for extra care when He comes back.
We don’t have to clean and bandage ourselves up to meet with Jesus, He comes to us and takes us to where He wants us to heal and recover. He places us in the care of the Holy Spirit to attend to us, knowing we are in the perfect place. There is no where we can go where the healing and compassionate hand of Christ cannot take us from. Life and religion will leave us beaten by the roadside, but Jesus will always stop to care for us.
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessing of Your Word, for the ministry of Your Word and for the compassion of Your Word. May we be like Christ and meet the downtrodden and despondent on the roadside, getting into the trenches with them and care for the wounded. May we allow the ministry of Your Holy Spirit to nurture and care for them, while directing us to them. May we see this world through Your eyes, and act accordingly. Father, we thank You for caring for us and for loving us. We give You all glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Meditate on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life today, and allow Him to direct your path to someone who is lying in the ditch. Be Jesus to someone.
Additional Scriptures: John 16:7-8; John 14:15-17