You are the creator of the universe. You have made all things according to the counsel of your own will. You are worthy of glory, honor, and praise. We acknowledge your sovereignty as we submit to your authority.
Today, God, we plead for mercy. We ask that you hear our cry and have mercy on Charleston, South Carolina in the midst of tragedy. Your bride, the church, Emmanuel A.M.E. Church, has been desecrated by an act of hateful murder. One of your pastors, a chosen and called servant, has been killed along with eight other believers. A manhunt has begun and emotions from anger to fear have been released into the community. We call on you for help and plead for mercy.
God, families have suffered the loss of loved ones. We humbly ask that you provide comfort and stability for them as they grieve. Meet their needs in every facet of life during this troubling time. Protect their hearts so they won’t be overcome by sorrow. Provide Godly counsel for them as they seek to make sense of the circumstances and their feelings. Fill in the gaps where their fallen loved ones are missing.
God, friends and co-workers have also suffered a loss. Help them to support the families of the victims in a way that brings honor to their lives without being a burden on family members. Lead them to express themselves in positive ways without adding to grief and sorrow. Quench any fires of rage that burn within them.
Lord, help the church to stand strong. Do not allow fear to grip them and keep them away from fellowship with one another. As this church seeks your face to identify their next pastor, give them clarity. Send them the pastor you have chosen for them. May the next leader be spirit filled and courageous. Inspire other churches in the community to draw near and support Emmanuel A.M.E. Church, showing unity in the body of Christ. Bless Charleston to physically see the manifestation of a church without walls. Break down the barriers of denominations, races, generations. Let the church rise up and show her strength to the city. Make it beautiful in the eyes of those who do not know you and lead them to salvation. Lord, let spiritual revival ignite in Charleston.
Lord, the city of Charleston and the state of South Carolina has suffered a loss. They have lost a leader and senator. They have lost a sense of peace. They have lost the veneers of racial equality, unity, and safety. Help them to respond with genuine concern that lasts beyond the news coverage. Let their support and activism for change continue long after the shock of the moment has subsided. Lord, you have been exposing America’s secret discrimination and racism one city and state at a time. The laws say one thing but the hearts of many people are still filled with the hate of previous generations. For decades we’ve been hiding behind a mask of political correctness. Being politically correct is no longer enough to cover moral corruption. Help our nation, states, and cities to develop a moral compass that always points to you.
Lastly, God, let the saints arise in prayer all over this country and around the world. Inspire us to pray with passion. Help us to lift up effectual, fervent prayers that change the atmosphere around Charleston. Help us to minister to Charleston the way your angels ministered to and strengthened Jesus as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before his betrayal. Let them feel your power emanating from our prayers. Hear us from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land, in Jesus’ name, Amen!