Pray for Charleston


Pray for Charleston

Richard Niell Donovan

(This is an email sent to SermonWriter subscribers in response to the murder of nine members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015.)


PLEASE PRAY for the families of the victims of the recent shooting in South Carolina—and for leaders, both church and otherwise, throughout the region.

I suspect that you and your congregation have already offered prayers for the people who have been caught up in that tragic situation.  Please continue those prayers.  Pray for:

– Comfort for those who are grieving.
– Boldness in confronting racism, hatred, and violence.
– Guidance in preventing this kind of violence in the future.
– The removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds.


A WORD OF THANKSGIVING is appropriate.  The families of those who were slain have made a dramatic witness for Christ by publicly forgiving the murderer.  The currents of faith must run incredibly deep in that congregation.  Pray that the Lord will reward their faithfulness by blessing them with the peace that passes understanding.

And pray that the unbelieving world might be moved by their witness so that Christ might push back the boundaries of darkness and admit his blessed light into Charleston—and the rest of this nation—and the rest of this world.

We can also be thankful that the murderer’s intent to start a race war has instead resulted in a host of initiatives to bring an end to racism.


LET ME ALSO THANK YOU FOR YOUR MINISTRY.  I am confident that the Lord is using you in ways great and small to bless your congregation and your community.

Being a pastor is never easy.  The Prince of Darkness is at work in the homes and streets of every community.  By yourself, you cannot win the battle—but you are not alone.  The Holy Spirit—God’s Spirit—dwells in your heart, guides you, and enables you to push back the darkness.

Don’t forget where your power comes from.  Pray!  Engage the Spirit!  Obey! Proclaim the Gospel!

And never forget that, in the end, God wins.  Easter overcomes Good Friday—the open tomb overcomes the cross—and forgiveness overcomes sin.

Dick Donovan