Our nation is messy, yet so is every nation. People are hurting. Life is difficult. And in the end, it should be driving us to our knees. But I challenge you, do not let prayer be the last thing we do. It should be the first thing, and the continuous thing on our list.
So I ask, “Have you starting praying for your country, your politicians, your president (even if you don’t like who the president was, is, or will be), and everything?”
Putting aside national issues, there are local people struggling right now. In the past few weeks, I’ve tried to minister to people that are …
- Coping with a child in the hospital
- Struggling with homelessness
- Dealing with death of a loved one (child, parent, spouse, sibling)
- And not able to see them due to isolation and strict visitation rules at the hospitals
- Struggling to pay bills
- Facing losing all their possessions
- In quarantine and lockdown in retirement homes and haven’t seen family in months
- Parenting kids in a crazy world
- Dealing with work cutbacks and slowdowns
- Facing cancer
- Going through surgery
- Fearful of where we are headed as a nation
- Uncertain at their purpose in the world
- Angry at the world
- Thinking that death is imminent
- And of course, facing Covid personally or in family members
And as a pastor, I’ve struggled with how to show compassion, caring, and support while keeping them and others with which I come into contact safe and healthy. I deal with worship services running 10-15% of what we did pre-Covid. I deal with balancing ministry with admin and running a church organization while knowing so many need shepherding, even if from a distance or virtually.
And I know I am so grateful for family and social structures that care for each other during this time … people caring for people.
But for today, I challenge you to spend less time on FB, less time reading the news, and less time commenting on other people’s timeline. Spend more time on your knees.
There is a great story from Robert Orr about one of his students …
Doctor J. Edwin Orr, the greatest authority ever on revival in the church was a lecturer at Wheaton College. He took some students in 1940 in a brief visit to England, to visit the Epworth refectory where John Wesley was based.
Beside the bed are two worn impressions in the carpet where it was said that John Wesley knelt for hours in prayer for England’s social and spiritual renewal.
As the students were getting on the bus, he noticed one missing. Going back upstairs, he found one student kneeling in the carpet kneeholes praying with his face on the bed. “Oh Lord, do it again! Do it again!” Orr placed a hand on the student’s shoulder and said gently, “Come on Billy, we must be going.” And rising, Billy Graham joined the bus.
God will do it again if we are committed to praying. The Bible says to pray in the spirit, on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. All it takes is one man or one woman to stand in the gap and pray.
(See the original article here)
If people came into your house, would they find worn out carpet or floorboard where you spent time in prayed? Or would they find worn out phones/keyboards where you spent time online?
Maybe that’s why we are seeing what we’re seeing and not seeing revival.
Let’s get back to prayer.