Dear Church Family,
The sights and sounds of the last week have been heart-wrenching. Beginning with the tragic images surrounding the unnecessary death of George Floyd and running through the wanton destruction and looting of our cities, the scenes are appalling.
For some of us, these images are new; for others of us they are reminiscent of other times in our history. But no matter how often they occur, they are still sad.
After nine years of working closely with police officers from all over the country, I can tell you that what happened in Minneapolis does not reflect the mind and heart of the majority of officers. But Daniel, and others like him, along with other first responders, will have to go out there and face the discontent, the outrage, and yes, the senseless anarchy carried out by criminals who could care less about Mr. Floyd.
The offending officers are off the streets, but the brothers and sisters they mis-represented must stand up to the fall-out from their actions or lack of action, as the case may be. So, please pray for these men and women who are committed to ensuring law and order, and who are as offended by the abuse of the power entrusted to them as anyone.
Obviously, however, as we look at this matter, there is much more involved than what happened in Minneapolis last week. We are a nation in turmoil—a turmoil being stirred by some well-meaning and some sinister forces. There are, of course, human means by which order can be restored but they must be employed thoughtfully and carefully, and this is why we need to be praying, not only for the safety of our first responders, but for the wisdom of those who command them, and that God would let their efforts be effectual.
It is a mistake to think that human effort is all that is needed to restore peace and order. If God is not blessing those efforts, they cannot only be useless, but they can even make things worse.
So, how do we pray?
O Father in Heaven, (Psalms 65:7) You who still the noise of the seas, The noise of their waves, And the tumult of the peoples. You are the One who has, in the past, made peace within our borders and you are the One who (Isaiah 58:12b) shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
We grieve and lament the things that are going on and moral and civil evils that plague us. We think of Adam, created with knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, and we detest what we have become by sin—murderers, thieves, enemies of our brothers and sisters in life, and haters of God.
O Lord, in You and You alone rests our hope. You are the One who can subdue passions, change hearts, frustrate the wicked, give wisdom to those who lead us, revive Your Church and widen Your Kingdom and its influence.
Father protect those committed to protecting us and our property, and watch over them with Your ever-faithful mercy. Put a hedge about them which they cannot cross and which cannot be crossed by those who threaten them.
“O, Thou Prince of Peace, preside in every council. May all public teachers recommend peace. In private life, may we follow peace with all men; and cherish the principles and the dispositions, which will prepare us for that world, where we shall enter into peace and the sound of war and (tumult) will be heard no more” (Wm Jay).
(Psalms 82:3) Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Frustrate those whose agenda is wicked because (Psalms 35:20) they do not speak peace, But they devise deceitful matters against the quiet ones in the land.
Psalms 80:6-7, 18-19 You have made us a strife to our neighbors, And our enemies laugh among themselves. Restore us, O God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved! So we will not turn back from You; make us live, and we will call on Your name. Turn us again, O Jehovah, the God of Hosts; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved.
This we pray in the name of our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
We will be having news about upcoming services this week, so be looking for that, and meanwhile, may the Lord bless and keep you.