My heart is heavy because of the turmoil in our nation. Words are inadequate to express the sorrow of viewing such pain, unrest and destruction. Sometimes it seems that there is nothing we can do, but that’s not the case. The Church is God’s agent of mercy, love, justice and peace in the world.
Satan has always pitted mankind against himself and against God. Divisiveness is his primary weapon. Jesus came into a world a world full of trouble and pain. He was not comfortable sitting on the sidelines. He got involved. The world needed then what it needs now—a Savior.
This letter is not to elicit opinions about who is at fault. It is to remind us that we have been given a charge and a commission. We must not remain silent.
Paul’s last words to the leaders of the church at Ephesus were filled with great poignancy: “Now it’s up to you. Be on your toes—both for yourselves and your congregation of sheep. The Holy Spirit has put you in charge of these people—God’s people they are—to guard and protect them. God himself thought they were worth dying for” (Acts 20:28, MSG).
Caring for those whom God has entrusted to us is not a responsibility that we can delegate or ignore. Our congregations and our communities need us. Our nation and the world need us.
I want to recommend some things that I hope will help us during this difficult time:
- Do not be caught up in the world’s viewpoint; seek the heart and purpose of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit in every matter. Listen and learn; then lead.
- Lead your congregation in prayer for specific interventions:
- Pray for victims and their families. Pray God’s peace over their sorrow and pain.
- Pray for law enforcement officers and civic leaders. Ask God to give them wisdom, courage and discernment.
- Pray for unity in our communities as people seek to bring healing and wholeness.
- Pray that the church will rise up and reflect the light and love of Jesus Christ; pray righteousness and justice will be established.
- Pray for every ethnic group, and pray for wisdom in our nation’s continuing dialog about immigration.
The New Testament clearly differentiated a shepherd and a hireling. A hireling runs when danger comes; the shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Our nation and our world need true shepherds.
Please consider leading your congregation in prayer this weekend. This is the time for the church to engage in intercession and spiritual warfare. “Now it’s up to you …” (Acts 20:28, MSG).
Prayers and thoughts of various leaders have been included with this call to prayer, and you can find them available for download below. I encourage you to read them. I believe the Lord will use our Foursquare family as a messenger of His peace, His love and His care.