2005-08-18 - More Than Just Prayer
Tonight, I have a friend in need. My friend is my martial arts buddy. We have been through three black belt training sessions of twelve weeks three times a week, and three black belt tests. We have survived all three. His name is Joe. Tonight he called and said he would not be in class, and I knew why immediately. Another friend of his, who I do not know, had a stroke about a week ago. Last night this friend of Joe's slipped from this life to his eternal reward.
Death is hard for even believers. It is a loss, and a separation for a period of time. Even when we know the person to have been saved and we are assured that we will see them again in Heaven, it is difficult. It is enough for me to know that Joe is going through a tough time. I will be praying for him and the family of his friend.
When Christians are faced with a situation like this, I hear too often, "I can at least pray for you.", almost as an apology for not being able to do more. I do understand the desire to physically do something to help comfort someone, especially someone close in a time of loss or suffering. But prayer is hardly something to feel is a second rate action. We should never think that this is the only thing we can do. It is one of the most powerful things we can do for another person. We are connecting with the Lord of Creation asking Him to intervene in the life of someone we care about.
The hearts of Kings and the fate of nations are moved by the power of God. By the power of a word, worlds were formed and a universe sprung into being out of nothing. This is no less than the power we are making request of for those who are in our prayers. Since God is in control, and I trust the omniscient Father, I know He has a plan for Joe and the family of his friend in all of this. I will be praying that His will be done in this time and through these events.
The last thing I can recommend for those of you who may find yourselves in a similar situation, is to be available. Be around to talk, or not talk, to sit or to walk and listen, or if asked, to explain the faith you have in Jesus Christ. God opens many many doors in times like these. The time is short. The hour of His return is nearer every day. And we never know when we will get a phone call saying that we have lost a friend, and his or her eternity is sealed forever.
It's more than just prayer. It is the doorway to grace and mercy, and comfort and peace to our friends and loved ones, and to a lost and dying world.