I believe in evil. “He” is real. He is alive. He thinks. He plots. He hates. He kills. He spreads fear. He destroys. He targets the innocent. He knows he has an audience of millions of Americans who claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He wants them to hide. He wants them to stay home from church. He wants them to lock their church doors.
He strikes the innocent worshipers at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, TX. As of this hour, 27 are reported killed and 30 injured. People gathering to worship You. People gathering to learn about You. People gathering to find strength in the promises of God to face the problems of life. Into their midst walked evil with guns and bullets.
Father, I cannot imagine the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain of this congregation. I cannot comprehend their confusion. One moment they were singing, the next moment they were screaming in terror. Father, I ask for Your abundant love on each innocent victim. For those who are mourning the loss of loved ones, may they feel Your arms of comfort. Give them Your shoulder to cry on. Walk with them through the grief. Give them answers for this tragedy that cannot be explained rationally. For those who are injured, heal their wounds. Stabilize their bodies. Ease their pain. Give them rest. For the anxious families in the hospital waiting rooms, may You do miracles – mysterious acts of compassion by both friends and strangers.
Father, I pray Your Holy Spirit will move across the church in America. Give us courage. Give us determination – we will not live in fear. Father, a transparent and loving church with the courage to be bold in Your faith is a church that will transform lives, families, and communities. Father, as we stand up and count our lives with Jesus Christ, we will defeat evil. His violence will in the end only make Your church more powerful in our communities.
Father, write testimonies tonight in Sutherland Springs, TX. May people talk for years and years how You rescued, restored, and renewed a church that was attacked on November 5, 2017.