The City of St. Louis and the nation await the release of the judgment of the Grand Jury regarding Officer Darren Wilson and the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. There is much speculation and opinion as to when the verdict will be announced, but that information is well guarded, available only on a need-to-know basis.
With promises of violent behavior, burning cities, and death threats, all branches of law enforcement have gone to 12-hour shifts, schools have stockpiled supplies and food, and people are being told to stay inside and prepare as if a large winter storm were coming.
On Monday, November 17, Governor Jay Nixon, signed an executive order activating the Missouri National Guard. He has stated that violence and destruction will not be tolerated.
With only a few official agencies having specific and accurate information, the media machine makes “news” out of nothing, broadcasting opinion and printing speculation not based on truth. In this environment, fear and intimidation thrive, which drives citizens to believe they must protect themselves and their property from what may be coming. In the last month, gun sales in nearby communities have increased 300%.
Even as aspects of the situation have remained volatile and unstable, intercession and worship have increased throughout the city. A prayer meeting at a local church at one of the entrances to the city of Ferguson has been going non-stop for the last 10 years, gaining momentum since August.
Churches are praying and have come together to donate food, water, and more than 3,000 backpacks loaded with school supplies for children in Ferguson. In September alone, law enforcement received so many donations that they had no more room to store the blessings.
Throughout the month of October, a tent was erected in the middle of Ferguson where worship and prayer was released for 12 hours every day. In conjunction with the tent, evangelistic teams went into the streets and neighborhoods, a prayer room was established, and worship leaders and teams from throughout the city came to shift the atmosphere of the city with pure worship. Over 21 days, 50 people made commitments to follow Christ, including a warlock and others that came to protest, but left praising because they found Jesus.
Several potentially dangerous gatherings have broken up and dissipated as worship was released among the unruly participants. Coming in a spirit of intercession, worshippers began to sing and position themselves between the protesting crowd and the Highway Patrol forming a protective line. Within minutes, the riotous crowd deflated and dispersed as “this isn’t fun anymore” and “I’m going home” were heard. Others in the crowd joined the worship, with several coming to Christ.
The City of Ferguson has commended the “Jesus People” for their efforts and said, “We don’t know what you’re doing, but when you do it the atmosphere changes…thank you!” The Missouri Highway Patrol offered their thanks as well, saying “Many of our officers were singing with you as you moved between them and the protesters.”
Our prayer and worship are making a difference, and the atmosphere is changing. Things truly are shifting, but it’s time to declare Isaiah 26:1 over St. Louis and every city in America: “Our city is strong! We are surrounded by the wall of God’s salvation” (NLT).
Ferguson is a part of the larger St. Louis area and the posture of those who live here must be one of not bowing to intimidation or fear. Our declarations from St. Louis, which can be the declarations from your city, are that this is OUR city, not the enemy’s.
We call our city back to the original intent the Father had for it, and we bless God’s dream for it and for us as its inhabitants. Our city is not going to burn, our citizens will not be attacked, we won’t be afraid, and we WILL NOT be a flashpoint for rioting, lawless behavior in other cities, or martial law in our nation.
This city will be a gateway for life and not death, peace and not turmoil, order and not confusion. We are a city of breakthrough, healing, and revival. We are a city where God’s throne is established on righteousness and justice. The people of our city will walk in the fear of the Lord and not in the fear of man. Our leaders will be men and women of truth and righteousness, wise in their judgments and gracious in their decisions.
We make our appeal to heaven and call for angelic assistance to see the plans of darkness canceled and erased. We call for signs, wonders, and miracles and a mighty awakening in St. Louis and in our nation.
In 2 Kings 19, when King Hezekiah received threats and predictions of destruction from the enemy, he did three things that serve as a template for us as a praying community in this hour. After reading the threats, he "went to the House of the LORD" (2 Kings 19:14). Distraction, human strategizing and business-as-usual denial were avoided as the place of communion with God's heart was prioritized.
Secondly, Hezekiah "spread it (the threatening predictions) out before the LORD" (2 Kings 19:14). As an intercessor, he brought the crisis to the Lord on behalf of God's people.
Thirdly, he earnestly prayed and worshiped the Lord (2 Kings 19:15-19). The Lord responded to Hezekiah's prayer by declaring "I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake" and by sending an angel of the Lord to strike down the enemy of God's people (2 Kings 19:34-36).
As threats and predictions of riots and destruction hang over our cities and our nation, we want to spread them out before the Lord and release our worship and intercession. Genesis 2:15 says God put man in the garden “to dress it and keep it”--to guard it, build it, protect it, and be a watchman. Our responsibility as watchmen and guardians is to make our appeal to heaven and spread the reports, the predictions, and the threats out before the Lord, so that He will defend our cities and our nation. Ekklesia, arise and legislate, decreeing those things that are not as if they were!
In closing, I want to say ‘thank you’ to all of the states and networks, churches and individuals who have come together in agreement on behalf of Ferguson and the St. Louis area. Thank you for raising the shield over our homes and families and thank you for joining us in releasing a resonating sound of praise and triumph. Today it’s our region and our city, but tomorrow it could be your territory and your home.
Every conflict that arises is an opportunity for God to show Himself strong and a chance for the world to see a manifestation of the sons of God. Our actions and intercession are displacing the darkness and seeing His kingdom come in earth as it is in heaven.