The Call to Pray: In Unprecedented Times, the Church Must Respond in Prayer.
With fires raging across the U.S. and beginning to ignite around the world, the Church has been called to pray. We have entered into a season that requires each and every one of us to fast and pray for others. It began with events like the wildfires of Australia, ran into coronavirus, and now we are entering a time to pray against racism of all forms, the rooting out of injustice, and the healing of our brothers and sisters who have faced racism of all kinds. We have entered into a season where the Church can have no rest. We have been called to stand up, pray with fervor, fast, and declare the word of Jesus in the midst of every situation for change.
As one crisis bleeds into the next, as a people, we are continually being rocked. It is as though we are on a boat and a large wave comes crashing down, severely rocking and almost capsizing the boat. After the wave, comes a small lull, yet more waves are to come. The world has begun to face wave after wave of crises and through it all there is a great peace that the Lord brings in the midst of the storm. Jesus is at work and has called the Church to work while both bracing for and calming each wave.
Jesus has begun to trumpet the lawlessness of corrupt systems, agencies, law enforcement, politicians, and lack of humanitarian aid. The Lord has begun to move within each and every system, overturning it, exposing wickedness, and cleaning house throughout the world. We are not naïve enough to believe that all racism or injustice will end or ever be destroyed, but we can take this opportunity for movement and pray for it to end. We can determine how we can root out racism and injustice in our situation, at this time, in our context. We can pray to Jesus to show us the way.
When the current wave of protests ends, we may face yet another wave, and another, and another crisis. Our hearts will be set on fire, our emotions will rage, and every one of us will be impacted. Through it all, know that there was a man who calmed every wave and storm, and his name is Jesus. He commanded the waves to be still, and so it was. In this time of unprecedented events I do not see an end to the waves. As a church we must be prepared. We must humble ourselves, pray, fast for the world, and find peace.
This time of unmitigated crisis and turmoil means that we must pray for every part of the world, not just the United States. As we witness locusts creeping into far off countries threatening to become locust plagues: we must pray. As we hear of the potential of unprecedented hunger and starvation in much of the world: we must pray. We must pray for people of every color, nation, and creed. We must pray for governments, law systems, and injustice of every kind. We must pray that the church becomes a safe haven in the midst of these troubling times. Let those who seek a Savior find Jesus in our churches. Pray that the Lord who rules and reigns shows his justice, love, and grace during this time.
As we grieve with those near and far, in the face of terrible injustice and horrible situations, let us cry out to Jesus in prayer with tears on our faces. The black American brother protesting in the streets needs to be heard. Let us listen to the black sister on a different continent facing starvation while trying to feed her children. The brown-skinned man dying of COVID-19 need to be heard. Those who are afraid, terrified, and without resources or justice need to be heard. Let us pray for the world, adding our voices to those crying out.
Lord Jesus, hear our cry! Uproot injustice! Tear down racism! Feed the hungry! Protect and preserve lives! Protect homes, businesses, and crops! Root out lawlessness and corruption! Be our Savior, our hope, and our salvation! Deliver us from every form of oppression! Hear our cry, oh Lord! Heal our land! Set us free! Give us a hope and a future where we can live together in peace and harmony! In Jesus name, Amen!
Reality Changing Observations:
Q1. What crisis do you feel called to pray for right now?
Q2. Think of a time you can set aside to pray? How about fast? Let’s do it.
Q3. How can you join with others to pray? (Online? In-person? Prayer meeting? At work?)