Our country is in deep pain. After a week filled with violence, we are shaken. We see a spotlight on the very real problems of division, hate, and injustice in our country. We see the depths of sin in our own hearts and in the fallen world we live in.
As a church, how do we respond?
In God’s providence, Pastor Derrick DeLain of the Summit Church’s Blue Ridge campus in Raleigh, NC, was previously scheduled to preach at Mercy Church this past weekend. Pastor Spence and Pastor Derrick took the opportunity to have a conversation on racial reconciliation through the lens of the gospel, and lead our church in a time of prayer. Through their conversation, which you can listen to here, we receive guidance on how we can respond in moments like this and proclaim the hope of Christ to a hurting world. Pastor Derrick, we are so thankful that you encouraged us in the power of the gospel to reconcile, for your perspective and for the incredible word you brought to Mercy Church this weekend!
One immediate action you can take is to pray fervently. We cannot ignore that this is a time of deep pain, particularly for our African American brothers and sisters. As a church, as one body of Christ, we are called to minister to those who are hurting, to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). Below are the things that we prayed for together on Sunday, that you can continue to pray through in the coming weeks. May we cry out together to our God, the One who has the power to reconcile, heal and save!
- Pray for our hearts to be changed
We know that it’s only through a changed heart that God is going to move. Pray that God would change our hearts to see the injustice and indifference in our country, and stir us to mourn together.
- Pray that we would not be apathetic
It’s easy to be apathetic in a world that moves so quickly. Instead of apathy, pray that we would be compelled to compassion and action for our hurting community, that we would listen well and respond in the love of Christ. Pray for God to open doors for honest conversations, and for boldness to hold out the gospel with open hands.
- Pray for our police officers
Pray for our police officers in Charlotte and in our country. Pray that as they make decisions, they make them wisely and courageously, and not on the basis of skin color. Pray that they would be kept safe as they seek to serve our community and preserve lives, and that they would be rightly honored and respected.
- Pray for diversity in our relationships
The gospel is the answer to disunity, and relationships are the context where we will see unity happen across racial lines. Pray for diversity in our personal relationships/friendships and for those relationships to be united by the power of Christ. We desire to be a church that represents the kingdom of heaven, and that will begin in our individual relationships.
- Pray for our country
Our country is divided. Pray for God to move mightily in our country, to heal and restore the brokenness in a way that only He can. Pray for the leaders of our city, state and nation, asking God to give them wisdom as our leaders seek to guide us well.
Listen to the conversation between Pastor Derrick and Pastor Spence below, and to Pastor Derrick’s sermon here.