by Sandy Kirby Quandt
I’m sure you’ve heard…nine people were killed Wednesday night by a gunman at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The suspected gunman spent nearly an hour at the church in a prayer meeting before shooting the victims.
“We cannot make sense of what has happened, but we can come together.” Rev. George Fielder pastor of the New Hope AME Church.
My first response to the news was to pray for the families and friends of those killed. My second was to pray for the suspected shooter’s family, especially his mother. Finally, with great difficulty, I prayed for the suspected gunman.
Fortunately, I have never lost a loved one to a violent crime. Thank you, Jesus. And I pray to the LORD God Almighty I never do. Besides the horribleness of the actual act, I’m not so sure I would be able to honestly forgive the perpetrator, and I know God would expect that of me.
Withholding forgiveness would leave the door wide open for Satan to come in, set up residence, and rule my life. Definitely not a good thing. So I pray for comfort for the deceased’s families, and for God to give them the grace and strength they need to forgive.
The suspect’s uncle voiced words to my thoughts regarding the need to pray for the suspect’s family when he said the whole world would be looking at the family and mother who “never raised him to be like this.”
That’s what we do, isn’t it? We look at the family and ask what their problem was to have “created” someone who would commit such a crime. So I pray for them.
Kevin Hodge, a minister at the Shiloh AME Church in Galveston, Texas was quoted as saying, “It is a tough and trying time. A lot of people see this as a hate crime. I see this as a spiritual attack.”
I see this as a spiritual attack…
Friends, last week I asked you to pray for those affected by the Sockeye Fire in Willow, Alaska. Today I find the need for us to be on our knees for the families affected by a senseless act of violence that occurred last Wednesday evening in a church in South Carolina.
Satan is alive and well roaming the night like a lion searching for those to devour, but his days are numbered, thanks be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen?
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Then there was war in heaven; Michael and the angels under his command fought the Dragon and his hosts of fallen angels. And the Dragon lost the battle and was forced from heaven. This great Dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down onto the earth with all his army.
Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has happened at last! God’s salvation and the power and the rule, and the authority of his Christ are finally here; for the Accuser of our brothers has been thrown down from heaven onto earth—he accused them day and night before our God. They defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony; for they did not love their lives but laid them down for him. Rejoice, O heavens! You citizens of heaven, rejoice! Be glad! But woe to you people of the world, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.” Revelation 12:7-12 (TLB)
I wish you well.
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All quotes taken from the Friday, June 19, 2015 Houston Chronicle.