A horrible tragedy has happened. A man in his early 20s has opened fire in a prayer meeting in Charleston, South Carolina killing 9 people, including the pastor of the church. We, as a church, should be holding up the families and the church who lost people up in prayer. We should be praying for peace, and comfort, and that God helps them deal with this tragedy. But that isn’t all that we should be doing.
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.“ – Matthew 5:43-45
There is someone else that we should be praying for. And that is the young man who committed this horrible act. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t support the authorities in finding him and him receiving the punishment merited by law for what he did, but we should not be wanting revenge, we should not be praying for his demise and we should not be seeking out justice ourselves.
So let us join together and pray, church! But let’s not be like the heathens and the ungodly and just pray for the families of those who lost. Let’s be like the examples we have from Jesus and from Stephen and pray for those who hurt us and persecute us and do harm. Let’s pray for their souls, and pray that God finds mercy and grace for him, too (because the Bible tells us that Jesus did die on the cross for these sins, just like our sins). That God find a way to reach this young man and to show him the truth before its too late and another soul is lost to the lake of fire for all eternity.
Pray church. A lost soul is hanging in the balance right now, and we should be doing something about that.