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Pastor Jack here—and I’m feeling deeply moved upon my return from Virginia, being with our congregation at The Bridge Foursquare Church in Christiansburg, Va.,—10 miles from Blacksburg, Va., where Virginia Tech is located. General Supervisor Glenn Burris and I were there Wednesday night, grateful for the privilege of “bearing one another’s burdens” as we joined with the congregation in the emotional aftermath of the massacre that has shaken our nation.

It was a joy to advise them of the Foursquare News Service memorandum which was sent to all our churches five days ago—to affirm the confidence of your prayers not only in general, for the multitudes who were impacted by the killings, but specifically for the more than 50 members of our church there who are directly involved in the campus life of Virginia Tech.

Perhaps for me, the most personally significant moment of the evening was following my being present to bring God’s Word to the hundreds of people who were present from four Foursquare Churches in the vicinity. It was here that I had the heart-tugging experience of praying with three people.

One of the students had a bullet ricochet off of his shoulder and lodge itself into the back of his head. His preservation by divine providence is miraculous to say the least. However, it is amazing the way a sinister spirit of guilt will assail a person who is spared when friends die in a disaster. Ministering to him and his wife was a privileged moment, to transmit divine grace and to witness the presence of the Holy Spirit, comforting them as Jesus’ presence began dispelling the dark delusion of the Adversary.

I also prayed with another young man who was feeling much the same assault. He had walked from the classroom where the attack centered only moments before the killer entered. Again, amid pain, we all need to learn that it’s never an insensitive thing to lift thanks to God, with humility, for manifest mercies such as these.

Prior to this event, I had already been preparing information on fasting to accompany this usual Monday morning National Church Office prayer communiqué. However, I asked Glenn if I could personally write you today.

I would like to ask every Foursquare leader to target a nationwide, week-before-Pentecost, seven days of fasting and prayer, beginning Sunday evening, May 20 through Saturday evening, May 26. The materials offered here are for your use as you may find them helpful from among various pieces I have used as a pastor through the years. You may freely adapt as you choose.

Let me underscore: I realize that among our broad membership there are various degrees of ability to participate, as well as degrees of understanding to motivate such a fast. In no way do I want this invitation to answer a call to fasting and prayer to be received by any of our people with the slightest sense of legal demand or institutional pressure. Fasting is spiritual not “religious,” and it is also mighty—for spiritual healing, breakthrough and liberation. All these things are needed in our nation, our cities and the local communities where we all minister, and I believe God has prompted me to issue this call—one that comes with the full support of our Board and national leadership.

Thank you for your leadership. I’ll be writing you once more in this same regard at this e-mail address next week.

By: Pastor Jack Hayford, president

(1934-2023) was the former president of The Foursquare Church and founding pastor of The Church On The Way.