Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pray For Deputy Darren Goforth's Family

Pray for the family of Harris County Deputy Darren H. Goforth who was shot execution style while pumping gas in Texas. He is the 24th officer of the peace killed in attacks this year. If you add other in-the-line-of-duty law enforcement deaths, the number rises to 64. Was the murderer mentally ill, on drugs, racially motivated? At the time of the writing of this article, we do not know. We do know that a wife has lost a husband, parents a son, children a father, and officers a brother.

Pray for the thousands of men and women who have given their lives to protect and serve, and who are once again shaken by the death of a brother. Their work is already overstressed and underpaid and now there is one more reason for hyper-vigilance to add to their stress.

Pray for Louisiana. Of the 24 peace officers murdered in our nation so far this year, 6 of them were officers in Louisiana. This beautiful state is one of the most violent, perhaps the least peaceful in the nation. We kill one another at a per capita rate higher than any other state. No state has more incarcerations per capita, and almost no state has a higher level of poverty than Louisiana.

Pray and work for change. Prayer doesn't remove the need for people to change things, but it does empower and inform that work. Laws need to change, and society needs to change, but laws and programs will not transform a culture. Work to change the factors that lead to the victimization of children, families, officials, and all people, but recognize that for that work to be done our hearts must be transformed.

Pray for revival of the church. We are one of the most religious states, and yet the most violent. There are more churches in our Louisiana parish per capita than almost anywhere in the nation, yet we are in no better shape than our state. If all the people who claim to be followers of Christ in our parish were obediently following Him, things would be radically different here. Jesus said we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. He said that if the light is hidden or the salt loses its saltiness it is worthless. We, the church, need revival - brokenness over sin, repentance, and a return to God.

Pray for yourself. If I'm right and the church in our parish needs revival, that means you and I need it. All revival is personal. There's no sweeping change in a nation that is not the sweeping transformation of individuals. Don't blame race, religion, church, politics, or presidents. We are the church. If we are not devotedly in love with and obediently following Jesus Christ, we are the problem in need of the solution.

Has your church called for prayer and fasting? If not, then you do it. Are you fervently crying out to God for revival and awakening to begin with you? Draw a circle on the ground. Step inside the circle. Kneel down. Pray for God to send revival and awakening to the one in the circle. Then focus on the rest of the world.

There is still hope. His name is Jesus. Wherever He reigns, peace reigns.