Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
These are some sad times we’re living in. There are images on the internet right now of Christians being persecuted, tortured, and murdered in real time. A truly brilliant and funny man ended his own life yesterday. And today, my nephew starts college away from home, the end of an era and beginning of a new one for our family. I have butterflies in my stomach for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, a total stranger’s family and their loss, and for a 19 year old man of God who is only about 8 years old in my head. Wow.
Pray. Just pray.
Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
Anyone feel helpless about persecuted Believers? Pray. Anyone feel deep sympathy for a family rocked by suicide? Pray. Anyone’s baby leaving the nest today? Pray. James’ words are so compelling... Are you suffering hardships? Pray. Are you happy? Pray. Are you sick? Pray. And his advice serves ALL of us well today.
My country is disappointing me; why aren’t we protecting those Christians better? I’m gonna pray about that. I know people profoundly affected by a suicide, and this recent one stirs all that up again. Pray. Our family is changing, the children are becoming grown, mine are next, there’s anxiety tied up in that. Pray, pray, pray.
Prayer is not a helpless, worthless, idle activity. James goes on to say, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16) Prayer is actually the most important thing I can do if I want to help any of these people so heavy on my heart today.
I believe with all my heart that the weeping is temporary, and it will be overwhelmed with the joy that is to follow for those who love and trust God.
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
(2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
But in the meantime...pray. Prayer is a purposeful, meaningful, invisible practice that produces wonderful results because God said that it will. And that’s good enough for me.
Thank you that you have given me an action to take when I feel helpless. I pray for the Christians being pursued right now by ISIS. Please protect them, comfort them, help them be brave, provide for them, hide them, feed them, rescue them, and give them peace and encouragement that only you can bring. I pray for Robin Williams’ family today. 25 years old is too young for a daughter to be without a daddy. They will be so puzzled and feel so guilty over his departure. Help this be an opportunity for them all to turn to you for comfort and real Life. Be with our friends whose lives have been impacted by suicide as it is different from all other deaths, so hard to grasp and get over. Fill those cracks in our hearts as we still grieve over the senseless loss that is stirred up once again by the high profile suicide from yesterday. And be with Karen and Jerry today as they send Reed off to APU. Give him a great experience, keep him safe and healthy, and give him lots of godly friends. Lord, I thank you so much that coming to you helps my heart. I don’t know how, but it just does. And I am so thankful for this purposeful, meaningful, invisible practice that I can participate in that is beneficial to me and to the ones for whom I pray. And I pray in your Son’s name. Amen.