Daily the headlines are filled with so many reasons to pray. Fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, exploitation, corruption, death, destruction.
No matter where we are located around the world, there is a pressing concern for all who live in those areas.
There are times when my brain acts like a jukebox flipping through a catalog of songs. It settled on this oldie from my childhood:
In times like these you need a Savior,
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
Hope in Christ is a solid anchor when life is unbearable and tragedy inevitable.
Looking around breeds despair over our current situation, looking down keeps us chained to the anxiety growing in our hearts, but looking up anchors our souls to heaven.
Scanning world news late last night I found that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo nine out of ten villages have been burnt down in attacks and hundreds of children have been separated from their families or witnessed their murders.
I read that Hurricane Irma has wreaked havoc in the Caribbean. Damaging or destroying an estimated 90 percent of the structures on the island of Barbuda, home to about 1,400 people. And tragically a 2-year-old child was swept to his death after the storm ripped the roof off the family's house.
An update from Mexico revealed the death toll from the 8.1-magnitude earthquake has risen to 65. Thousands of homes were destroyed or damaged.
A report claims that around 16 million children are in need of support due to the torrential monsoon rains and catastrophic flooding in Nepal, India and Bangladesh.
I was reminded that thousands of desperate migrants are being held in horrific conditions in detention centers across Libya where they are subject to torture, rape, starvation and killing.
In Syria, warring parties continue to perpetrate crimes against civilians, including the use of chemical weapons. Syrian people, including children, remain the primary victims of violence.
How can we pray in times like these?
My heart goes out to women and children around the world who are in need of hope, help, and reassurance from those who can be Christ in the flesh for them.
Lord God Almighty, Ruler of heaven and earth. We seek Your face in this moment.
We are grateful for Your love, Your grace, and Your mercy.
Shine forth into the darkness so that we might find our way to You.
Help our hearts to be softened and impacted by the cares and concerns of others.
Help us not to sit idly by and just watch while others suffer.
Awaken our spirits to the needs of those who are hopeless, helpless, and hurting all throughout the earth.
Let our hearts be broken by the things which break Yours. Lord, I am reminded of the prayer of Saint Francis and like him also cry out to You with these words;
“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace!
That where there is hatred, I may bring love.
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony.
That where there is error, I may bring truth.
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith.
That where there is despair, I may bring hope.
That where there are shadows, I may bring light.
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted.
To understand, than to be understood.
To love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.”
Father in Heaven, may our anchors reach upward to grip the solid Rock.
May we exalt Your name each and every day of our lives.
In the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
May we each do our part to comfort those in our part of the world. For the children, for each other, and for the glory of the Lord.
~If you have a prayer request or would like to offer a prayer kindly leave it in the comments.