Observing the backlash in Ferguson, Missouri, and beyond protesting the death of Michael Brown at the hands of police, Mike and Cindy Jacobs of Generals International have challenged Christians to pray for our cities.
"The racial tension in the United States right now is very real and warrants our cry to the Lord for peace and healing," the two said in an email to the organization's supporters.
They pointed readers to a previously published article, Shields Up Over Our Cities, which gives a prophetic perspective on prayer applicable to the Ferguson situation.
"For the past five years, the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (ACPE) has repeatedly brought up the number of dreams and visions they have received concerning the cities of America on fire with riots. As far as we could trace, some were as far back as 1983 when Elizabeth Alves had gone away for a season of fasting and prayer. During this time she had a very disturbing vision with similarities to the current situation in Ferguson, Missouri, that erupted following the grand jury's decision after a young African-American was shot by a white policeman.
"The pictures of the rioting were eerily reminiscent of the descriptions some gave during the ACPE meetings. This whole situation could escalate even more, warranting the fact that we need to pray for the peace of God over our cities. If you read our report that we sent out from our General of Intercession of Missouri last week, you know that pastors from the area and worship leaders such as Kent Henry gathered to pray and bond together prior to the verdict announcement.
"Bishop Harry Jackson flew in to Ferguson from Washington D.C. along with Alveda King (niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) and other African-American leaders just prior to the announcement. They take their responsibility both as American citizens and leaders in their community seriously.
"As I reflect in prayer on the situation, my heart goes out to all the families involved in this tragedy. If I were the parents of Michael Brown, I would be in shock that my child left home one morning and was dead that same day. The grief from both the trauma and loss can only be borne through God's supernatural help.
"For the police officer who is now receiving death threats, I can only wonder how he is concerned for his pregnant wife and unborn child. The recent statistics that I looked up said that so far this year, 105 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty. (1) In the midst of the pain of Ferguson, we need to be grateful for our first-responders and pray for them—particularly for their safety.
"I believe that we need to cry out to the Lord to heal the pain of racial injustice in our nation. Evidentially, there is a lot that still remains! Racism needs to be rooted out wherever it exists, in whatever community it wants to rear its ugly, hate-filled head.
"The Lord gave the prophets a forewarning of what could happen across the nation. Cities were burning. We must pray that this does not happen because in the end, we are not red, yellow, brown, black or white. We are Americans and one nation under God, indivisible! Every single American matters.
"With so many enemies at a door, we must remember that a house divided will fall. Our foes would love to take advantage of just such a moment and will do so if we do not stand together, loving and valuing one another.
"So, it is time to put Shields Up over our cities and pray that Dr. King's dream will not be torn asunder in the midst of us looking for answers to heal our land."