Happy Monday to you.
But, it doesn’t exactly feel like a Happy Monday given the devastating earthquake this weekend in Haiti and the Taliban takeover of Kabul.
Whenever bad news comes in, we tend to handle it in one of three ways. Which approach best describes you:
- You watch or read as much as you can in order to find out every little detail;
- You “see, sigh and scoot” – scanning the headlines, feel a deep pit of “ugh” and then get back to the stress of your day;
- Avoidance and guilty. You’ve got a mountain of your own problems and you can’t handle anyone else’s – and that makes you feel like a bad human.
How do we care about what’s happening in our world without becoming so overwhelmed?
Since I don’t own a television, I’m at least a B. I pray, but I don’t want to see all of the pictures and pain that will make me feel even more helpfulness.
Earlier this week, well-known speaker and author, Jennie Allen, founder of the “If: Gathering” posted a meme that went viral. She said “We weren’t built to carry the problems of the whole wide world.”
She’s right. But while we weren’t built to carry the problems of the whole wide world, what should our response be right now?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I want to share three things that I’m focused on and there’s a prayer that goes along with it. If you’ve been wanting to pray and need words, keep reading.
- Remember that God is near, even if you don’t understand why God let it happen.
Many of us gets stuck on the question of why God allows bad things to happen in our world. I don’t have an answer as to “why,” but I do not that God isn’t the cause.
We live in a sinful and fallen world. This is not the world that God created. Tragically, billions of imperfect people have lived since the beginning of human history. We’ve committed all types of atrocities to each other. While we’re overwhelmed right now, God’s heart has been broken over our sin for thousands of years.
Right now, God’s heart is broken over the Haitian mothers and fathers weeping over the loss of their children. God weeps over the Afghani mothers and fathers living in terror right now over what will happen in the future.
Even in their devastation, God is near.
God promises in his presence. I believe that God is at work in ways that we can’t see or know, but His power and provision is at work.
PRAYER: God, I pray for those in Haiti and Afghanistan as well as those who are afraid and grieving. I pray that they would call upon Your name right now and that according to Your promises, You would answer them.
I pray for the believers who are in those areas. Supply their needs. Let them see Your supernatural peace, presence and power flow through and break down the walls of fear and hopelessness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- We must always put hope in God, not headlines or humans.
Is what is happening in our world bad. Yes. It’s breathingly awful. If our hearts are not torn by the scenes of humans clinging to plane because they fear for their lives, then we’ve lost our humanity. I’ve received information those work with Afghan believers that those believers are being targeted and massacred. This is real.
In light of the horror, we cannot lose hope. We can’t, but God can. Never forget that! The news helps us to see what is happening, but the news cannot predict how God will show up in that situations that will never be covered by the news.
Be informed. But do not shape your perspective on news headlines. We cannot limit our view of God based on what we see. I believe that God will be faithful to his people around the world as well. We pray in faith and we will pray God’s promises for His people in Afghanistan and Haiti. Let us pray without ceasing for them!
QUESTION: Is your view of the world or your hope shaped by your view of God or is your hope shaped by the headlines or how people behave?
PRAYER: God, remind us to lift our eyes from the news headlines on our mobile devices and TV screens and put them on you. Remind us that what we see happening in our world today isn’t a surprise to you. Open our eyes today and remind us of Your promises and Your faithfulness. Amen.
- Prayer should be our first response, not a last resort.*
Prayer is powerful. Jesus prayed – and he knew all about the sinful world that we live in today. He still prayed because God still answers prayer.
Don’t let feeling helpless trick you into believing otherwise. Prayer is how we align our hearts with God and when we receive His promptings.
Yesterday, I exchanged some messages with friends who’ve served in Afghanistan. They are devastated because they want to help their friends, who are like family, but are currently enabled to do so. They have provided helpful prayer requests.
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed or feeling hopeless, prayer is the place where you can receive the supernatural guidance or inspiration that you may be looking for.
PRAYER REQUESTS FOR AFGHANISTAN
- International forces need to keep airspace open and allow for commercial and evacuation rights.
- Countries to open borders for families trying to leave.
PRAYER: Dear God, I pray for those who are living in fear and terror right now. While I may not understand what they are going through, You do. God, I don’t know what to do, but I am willing to be Your light and love of Christ in the world. Show me how today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
*This is borrowed from my church. Our motto is “Pray First.”