Pain in Detroit

19 May

This beautiful little girl is Aiyana Jones. She was killed by overzealous police officers in downtown Detroit on Sunday May 16th, 2010. She was 7 years old.

Police officers threw a flash-grenade into the house after being told repeatedly that there were children present. Officers then shot blindly into the house from the porch, one of these bullets hitting the sleeping child in the neck.

Her father, Charles Jones, ran into the living room where his daughter lay dying and was shoved to the floor, his face soaking in the blood of his only child.

The officers had a warrant to search the house for a homicide suspect. Though the suspect was later found in another home in the neighborhood, the Jones family had nothing to do with hiding this fugitive. Their family was innocent. The violence has been (obviously) deemed unnecessary and federal and state lawsuits have since been filed against the officers involved. Allegations of cover-ups and police brutality are bringing the anger to a boil in Detroit.

After many years of oppression and abuse by local police, the citizens of Detroit are close to rioting. Pain, hate, disgust, and anger fill the air and vengeance is being secretly (and not-so-secretly) plotted in the hearts of many. The Lord’s people must fall to their knees NOW over this issue.

Pray against hatred, discrimination, racism, inequality, and injustice. Pray for job opportunities in a city with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Pray for a revival in the church, for compassion and love to break out in such force that this storm would be calmed. Pray that through this pain, the people of Detroit would have no other choice but to cry out to the one true God – the God that hears the cries of His people and is heartbroken over their pain. The God that comforts those who mourn. The God that brings opportunity in place of darkness, healing to the broken.

Pray for Aiyana’s family, that they would feel God’s arms around them, that peace would rule in their hearts and minds. Pray for her friends at school, that they wouldn’t be afraid to go to bed at night. Pray for her father and mother, that their hearts would be mended quickly, and that hatred would not reside in their spirit.

Pray for those who stand for love to stand with megaphones to their mouths, declaring messages of peace, patience, and change. Pray that ministries to help the poor in Detroit would multiply like crazy in the coming months and they would be blessed financially beyond their wildest imaginations.

Pray for the hearts of the police officers, that they would be softened. Pray that they would be reminded of their duty to protect the people of Detroit. Pray that the kind of servant leadership that the Bible speaks of would become commonplace and that Christlike examples would be raised to positions of authority in the police department. Pray that violence would be a thing of the past, and that vision and purpose would prevail. Pray that the marginalized would be filled with hope for their future, the kind of hope that casts out desires for temporary solutions and quick-fixes. Pray against drug addictions, alcoholism, and destructive behaviors that hold people back from being the person God created them to be.

Pray. Prayer and love can heal this broken city.

For more information about this story, check out:

CBS News

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