2013-05-23 - Confident Prayer
1 Thes 5:17-18 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus.
Prayer is nothing to apologize for offering or for doing. In many circumstances I've heard, and probably said, "All we can do is pray." It makes the power of prayer sound very near worthless. Jesus would spend nights in prayer. He valued it to a very high level. So should we.
When I say we I include myself. We tend to feel like we are not helping when we are doing doing something. For most of us Oklahoma and the other states that have been seriously stricken by tornadoes are beyond our physical reach to help. For those who can go, they are truly the hands and eyes of mercy. For those who have lived through the storms or lost loved ones, or all of their belongings they are a light of hope in a dark time. A plate of food or a cup of cold water is an enormous thing to those who are suffering. A blanket and a safe place to sleep are rich blessings.
For those of us who can't go, I will echo Jan's statement from earlier this week. Give to reputable organizations if you are able. And here is the first connection of prayer - for direction. How can we best help? Pray asking for direction and listen for God's leading. There are places loading trucks and they need help. There are organizations like the Red Cross who need donations and may need volunteers for a variety of things. I don't know if blood donations will help or not. Call and ask if you have time to give. Hit their websites for answers to questions too.
The second connection - for support. There are many government, state and local agencies that are working to search for survivors and dangerous situations like gas leaks and more. There are disaster relief organizations like the Red Cross and para-church groups also converging on the towns and people who need help. Pray for their safety as they work. Obviously pray for the people in the areas affected as well. Some have come back to find nothing of their homes but the concrete slab on which the house was built. Some are still looking for family and friends. There are doctors, nurses, EMTs and staff who will not see much rest for days to come. For those families who have lost loved ones, especially children, this is a very difficult time.
The third connection - giving thanks. It would be easy to say - for what? For those who are safe and have been rescued. For those who can go and help, for the work that is being done, for equipment that has is available and people who know how to use them, ... and the list goes on.
This is a time when the church should shine. There are churches in the area that probably need help too handling the rush of needs and calls with questions. This is a time when people reach out to God. This can be a time of harvest in addition to witness in the community. Pray for the churches and their staffs as well.
This is digging at the surface of a canyon of prayer. The need is great. Our Lord is much greater. Ask for miracles. See what happens.
Lord - In all this chaos, teach us the value and power of prayer. Stretch us and reshape our minds to think of prayer first and often. Amen.
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.