For some years I’ve been watching, out of the corner of my eye, violence increase in the United States – at least the kind that involves a mass shooting. It is as though the violence is seeping out of closed doors and into public spaces and places.
There have been 356 mass shootings this year alone in the U.S. This is a fact. This is not exaggeration. This is the number of shootings of 4 or more people at a time.
A backwards kind of mass shooting is on the rise as well. Where multiple gunmen, usually police, are taking down one person, by a volley of shots from multiple guns.
I would classify this as a mass shooting as well. In its own way.
From what I can tell, the U.S. seems to be imploding. And has been on that track for some time.
Those who live by the sword will die by the sword. It is no secret that the U.S. has lived by the sword. It is now dying by that same sword.
The danger is not from without. The danger is from within.
To use violence to solve problems, whether here around the world, is to reap back onto oneself an increase in violence. Sow violence, get violence. Its not rocket science.
If the U.S. were one of my prayer clients I would suggest breaking a generational idolatry of violence.
Generational because it has gone on for generations. An idolatry because violence, the right to be violent if one needs be, tips over a line that defies the teachings of Jesus Christ.
To confess and break such an idolatry takes all of about two minutes or less.
It is the willingness to be convicted of such a sin that takes the time. The conversation must zero in to the core of the topic. Vulnerability is required. All blaming and shifting of the conversation must cease. Excuses must end. Rationalizations no more.
It is hard work indeed to take responsibility for something, be it in our own lives or in the life of our nation. But it is necessary work, if the track is to be reversed.
We must be courageous enough to ask,
What is going on that there have been 356 mass shootings in one year in one country?
To break a generational stronghold in our personal life requires only the agreement of one person with the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
To break a generational stronghold in a nation requires that many fall to their knees.
And declare out-loud something like this,
“God, I come before you today in the name and the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. I lift the United States to you. I confess God to a generational idolatry of violence in this country. It started way back.
We have been trusting this right to violence even more than you. We can tell this because of the gut response of fear, judgement, and deep anger that comes up, when we even consider giving up our right to violence in order to protect ourselves.
What has become evident, is that in trying to protect ourselves we are destroying ourselves. God help us. We are sorry Lord. I am sorry for my part in this.
So, today I say no more! I renounce the generational idolatry of violence that has been in my own life and in this country in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ.
I reach with the strong arm of my living Lord Jesus Christ back into my own past, and into our past as a nation and I uproot this idolatry of violence from where it first began. I leave nothing behind. I carefully but completely remove it in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ.
I unwind the chains of this generational idolatry of violence from around our lives, my own life and the life of this nation, the United States of America, and I declare severed every link in the name and the blood of my living Lord Jesus Christ.
I cancel the authority, the assignments, and the curses of the enemy that have been in and over and through our lives as people and as a nation in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ. I cancel the voice of violence. Silence.
I declare that everything connected to an idolatry of violence must go to the place where the true Lord Jesus Christ chooses to send it.
Today God, we take on your peace. Wash us with your peace.
I declare today the peace of God poured upon the United States of America.
Wash from us violence. Wash us clean with your living water.
Massage our broken lives with the oil of the lamb. Heal us. Transform us.
We declare all of this in the name and the blood of our living Lord Jesus Christ. With all glory and honour to you God and for our future and delight.
Amen and amen.”