Prayer #67: For God's Love in the Midst of the Coronavirus and Racial Tensions in the U.S.
Following the shocking and terrible killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, riots, looting and violence have spread across the country in many U.S. cities. As I write this, downtown Raleigh is recovering from a night of destruction that left scores of downtown businesses with shattered windows and doors and the contents looted. Both civilians and police officers were injured. The appalling Minneapolis killing, which followed closely after the racial killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, has moved our country into a time of national grief, compounded even more, if that were possible, by the continued presence of the COVID-19 virus.
In the midst of all this, I was indeed encouraged to read a report from Nick Hall. Nick is a young evangelist and is on the National Prayer Committee, of which I am a part. He is based in Minneapolis and has seen first-hand the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in his home city. But listen to his description of what for the most part didn't make the news broadcasts:
Yet in the midst of this chaos and pain, I was surprised to experience overwhelming hope. As I walked past smoldering buildings and broken people, voices filled the air on a sound system proclaiming peace. And as I stood with neighbors---men and women, both black and white---gathering to pray and call for change at the intersection where the largest riots have been centered. I saw a glimpse of revival.
While the images we see on our TVs show arsenal and theft, what I witnessed was a generation of mostly young black men and women, surrounded by friends from all backgrounds, all unwilling to fit the mold of a culture that highlights crime and controversy over character.
They gathered peacefully to express their anger and call for change. They prayed. They cried. They even challenged one another to become cops, lawyers, doctors, and preachers. And while most of America may not see these young leaders, they are here in Minneapolis standing in the gap.
As Christians, we know that our hope is in the Gospel. We are reminded today of Eph. 2:13-14: "But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility." This is why we, the Church, need to do a lot more than we are now doing to model the process of walking in oneness across the races: building relationships; gathering for worship together whenever we can; praying together; ministering together. Let's pray today for the love of God through the Gospel of Christ to shine forth through this dark, troubled time of the COVID-19 virus and our racial brokenness in this nation. And ask God to let it begin with you and me in the Body of Christ.
We do indeed pray this day for the Gospel to run and triumph. America needs the healing and national salvation that only God can truly bring. Pray for the Lord's protection over our cities and town during this time of violence. Pray for all of us in our country to run to God in the midst of profound sadness and grief.
Eph. 4:4-6: "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all."