Prayer for Charleston, South Carolina

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CHARLESTON, SC – JUNE 19: Mourners continue to pray outside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church where nine people were shot to death this week June 17, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

On Wednesday night, June 17, 2015, a 21-year-old white man shot and killed nine black people who were attending a Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. According to media reports, Dylann Roof, who was charged with nine counts of murder, said he wanted to start a race war in the United States.

We are asking that you join with us to pray for:

• The families of the nine shooting victims, which included the pastor of the church, Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney who also was a state senator.

• Members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church where the shootings took place.

• South Carolina’s leaders and its citizens who are still reeling from this horrific event.

• This tragedy to help people draw closer to Jesus Christ and for others (including the shooter) to experience a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

• That the power of non-violence and forgiveness continue to prevail throughout the court proceedings and as Charleston begins the healing process. 

While politicians, civil rights leaders and religious leaders debate the pros and cons of gun control, violence and racism in the United States, the real issue here is “hate,” and that stems from the heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Also, there’s a saying that goes, “The heart of the problem is a problem with the heart.” As witnessed by this tragic situation, extreme hostility left unchecked in one’s heart toward an individual or a people group can lead to tragic – and sometimes deadly – consequences.

In light of this upsetting event, we should take the time to examine ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit to shine His Divine Light on our hearts to reveal any hatred and distrust that we have against an individual or people group, and be willing to make changes as the Lord directs: Continue reading