Do you ever get weighed down by all the troubles in the world today? I know that I do. Whether it’s financial concerns, job stress, marital struggles or estrangement from family that I wish were close, there are no shortage of problems in my personal life demanding my attention.
Of course, I’m not the only one pressed by problems. Just this week, I found out about two people diagnosed with cancer, one of whom is only in her twenties. A third friend, who is also young, faces a scary potential medical diagnosis and frets over what her future health may look like. I know two families that are grieving the loss of their husbands/fathers. Another friend faces putting a beloved pet to sleep this week. Yes, all of that in just one week in just my little circle.
And don’t even get me started on the evening news – I can’t stand to watch it most nights because it breaks my heart. I read the news on various Websites, though, and usually the headlines are filled with rapes, murders, thefts and all manner of crimes, and people exploiting others and preying upon the helpless among us. Sometimes it feels like the world is getting darker and darker and there’s no end in sight. (Is it just me, or do you feel that way sometimes too?)
What I know, though, is that we have a loving and caring God who is right here with us in the midst of life’s tragedies and heartaches. He has shown this to me in personal ways many times over the years, most notably when He allowed me to feel His heart break as airplanes slammed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.
I spent some time reflecting on all of these tragedies and the state of the world with Him recently, and He asked me a question:
What if you turned not to despair, but to prayer?
I confess that this is an area where I need the mind of Christ that is promised to me (1 Cor. 2:16). Despair is a trap that I fall into all too easily. However, prayer is the most powerful weapon we possess; James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” I have often prayed for people that I read about in the news, but He impressed upon me the importance of REALLY praying for them with fervor. So, I’m going to pray the strongest prayers that He will give me to pray. These are some of the things I will pray:
Repentance: 2 Chronicles 7:14, Jeremiah 15:19, Jeremiah 31:19 and Ezekiel 18:32
Salvation: For government officials and leaders to come into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ so that they might be filled with Godly wisdom and make laws that are just. Psalm 85:7, John 3:36
Healing: Isaiah 53:5 and Jeremiah 17:14
Peace: Philippians 4:7, Romans 15:13
God’s Will: Matthew 6:9-13, Romans 12:2
What are some of the ways and verses that you pray when faced with overwhelming circumstances? Feel free to share them in the comments below or email me.