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A teddy bear lies under police tape at a makeshift memorial for those killed in the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland, Texas, Nov. 6, 2017. (Reuters/Rick Wilking)

The church massacre that killed more than 24 people—including an 18-month-old child—still has investigators puzzled. News reports are trickling out about a connection to a domestic dispute but authorities have yet to say much about what specifically motivated the killer.

"This was not racially motivated; it wasn't over religious beliefs," Freeman Martin, a regional director with the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at a news briefing. "There was a domestic situation going on within the family and the in-laws."

We must avoid knee-jerk reactions to politicize this tragedy and hit our knees in prayer for healing. While police look for a natural motive, we know the enemy's motive all too well.

This massacre, like so many others, has the devil's fingerprints all over it. Of course, it doesn't take a prophet to see that, but I don't mind reminding you amid the outrage and grief that 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelly, the attacker, was inspired by rulers of darkness.

You know I'm not a doom and gloomer, but this not the first attack on a church; it will not be the last. Amid the Sutherland Springs massacre, we must not give in to the spirit of fear, but understand our adversary, the devil, is influencing people to steal, kill and destroy.

We must wage prophetic warfare in the heavenlies because our battle is not against flesh and blood. Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against the church. And Jesus is always right. He also told us, "Occupy till I come" (Luke 19:13b, KJV).

It's time for the church to rise up with all manner of prayer with prophetic insight, including petitions and decrees, binding and loosing, even as we grieve for those who have been traumatized by this calamity.

Here's how we can pray:

  1. As the Lord to comfort those who are grieving and to deliver them from trauma that could impact them for many years to come.
  1. Ask the Lord to fully expose every hidden motive, agenda or mandate behind this attack.
  1. Give the pastor of this church the wisdom of Solomon to walk through this tragedy in the days ahead.
  1. Bind the spirit of fear over this church, this city and others who are glued to the secular news media waiting for the next revelation about the killer.
  1. Decree and declare a cease-and-desist order against massacres in our nation.
  1. Pray that those who lost friends and family can truly forgive this atrocity.
  1. Pray for awakening and a transforming revival in our cities.

Jennifer LeClaire is senior leader of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founder of the Ignite Network and founder of the Awakening Blaze prayer movement. She is author of over 25 books. Find her online at jenniferleclaire.org or email her at info@jenniferleclaire.org.

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