I have a strong belief that when someone walks in a personal relationship with God though the grace of Christ, that God will sometimes place heavy burdens of "intercessory prayer" on their spirits, in which the Holy Spirit directs them to pray about something specific, even if the person doesn't know why or what's going to happen.
On June 11 this happened to me. (And, I suspect, in the days leading up to June 17, when the Charleston shooting happened, that God put a similar burden on thousands of other intercessors around the country.) The burden I got was that a time of heavy grief and tragedy was going to come upon America early this summer. However, it wasn't for June 17, it was specifically during the first week of July.
So I wrote it down in a blog post.
I also mentioned it in an introduction to a sermon I preached the following Sunday, June 14. (I was a guest speaker. I'm not the pastor there.)
I felt strongly that something was going to happen during the first week of July that would cause all of America to enter a time of mourning. I still feel anxious about the first week of July, and if you're an intercessor, I urge you to pray for the Fourth of July, that no tragedy would happen in that first week of July -- that any forces of darkness would be 100% thwarted. America has already had more than enough heartbreak for the summer.
The scene that kept playing in my head over and over again on June 11 was this: I saw America celebrating the Fourth of July. But as fireworks were going off, instead of celebrating, people were weeping with tears streaming silently down their faces.
You can read the post in its entirety here.
The point is this: God used all of that urgency to move me to pray on June 11 for America and to specifically pray that God would comfort her in the time of heavy grieving that was coming -- and, most importantly, to use what was intended for evil for good instead. This burden then moved me to tell my church about it so they could pray too.
I believe God does things like this -- places sudden burdens of prayer on people's hearts -- to rally massive amounts of prayer before a tragedy takes place. I'm certain there were many people across the country praying for America in the days leading up to June 17, even if they didn't know exactly why.
And the unspeakable evil of what happened on June 17 is, I believe, already being conquered by the love of Christ and being used for good.
For example, reports are coming out that the families of the victims have forgiven the killer in the name of Christ. This is getting national news. It is both heartbreaking that they even have to do this, but it is incredibly inspiring and life-changing to witness such radical love: that these people, through the Spirit of Christ within them, are able to forgive the shooter. I believe this could change the lives of millions of people as they read about this miracle.
I am praying for America's grievous wounds to heal. I hope you will join me in prayer for America too -- especially as July 4 approaches. I still feel an urgency in my heart about the first week of July. No matter what happens, let's pray that the heart of America finds healing that only Christ and His amazing grace can give as we come together to celebrate the Fourth of July this year.