Charleston shooting mourners forgive killer

Charleston shooting

The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston is the oldest AME church in the South (photo by Spencer Means)

PRAYER ALERT: On the morning of June 18, florist Debbie Dills was driving to work near Shelby, North Carolina. She spotted a car with a Confederate flag and a South Carolina tag. Dills says that “because of divine intervention” she remembered at that moment the description of Dylann Roof’s car she had heard on TV. She looked inside the car and saw a young man with a bowl haircut. It matched that of Roof, the prime suspect in the Charleston shooting that killed nine black church members on Wednesday night.

In prayer, she pulled off the highway and called her boss Todd Frady. He encouraged her to follow the car, get the license plate number and report it. She did so, and 15 minutes later the police stopped and arrested Roof. It was God who made this happen…” she said. “He answered the prayers of those people who were praying in Charleston last night.”

That prayer meeting/Bible study took place at the historic black church, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Dylann Roof was welcomed and sat with them for an hour. Roof now says he almost abandoned his plans because of their kindness. But tragically he started shooting them, saying “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our county. And you have to go.” Roof killed nine of them. He told one of the three survivors of the Charleston shooting that he was letting her go so she could tell everyone what had happened. Now that Roof is in custody, he has confessed that he “wanted to start a race war.”

But in the midst of their heartbreak and grief many members of the victims’ families forgave him and prayed for his soul. Such testimonies of incredible and unconditional love has moved Charleston and the nation to awestruck wonder instead of war. Waves of prayer are overwhelming the political spirit that seeks to use this massacre to further divide the US. Lord, cleanse this land of bloodshed between the races instead.

PRAY WITH US: Father God, we know You love Your church deeply. You grieve deeply with us over the massacre of nine of Your people. They will be sorely missed. Heal our wounds. Count precious the blood of these martyrs of the Charleston shooting. Let it be the seed of great church growth as it has in the past. Thank You for testimonies of incredible love and forgiveness that are moving the heart of this nation. Thank You for moving Your people to prayer and not to war.

Stop those who want to take justice into their own hands. Stop those who want to politicize this and grandstand. What the enemy meant for evil, work toward our good. Use it to bring churches of all races together. Pour on unity gatherings Your Holy Spirit without measure. Your church began with all races in unity at Pentecost. It will end with all races in unity in Your kingdom. Let heaven come to earth through them, and hell be driven out. Make Your churches safe havens from the enemy. Make them unstoppable forces for the gospel of Your unfailing love. Through them, let Your kingdom increase until Your glory fills the earth. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Charleston shooting was attempt to start race war.

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