If I dwell too long on recent events, I would probably be so depressed that I couldn’t function. This week marks the one month anniversary of the Orlando shootings where 49 people lost their lives in a senseless act of hatred. The happenings of the past month: Orlando, St. Paul, Baton Rouge, Dallas, and yesterday’s tragedy in Nice, France, spell out a string of hateful,violent, back- to-back incidents that I’ve rarely seen rolled together in my lifetime, except during wartime. Violence seems to be everywhere–harsh and sudden.
When we see this much violence and destruction it’s time to pray.
There are those that may not have much faith in prayer, and will no doubt feel that this response is inadequate. But, those of us that have experienced the power of prayer know what we must do. Get on our knees. Jesus told us to cast ALL cares on Him because He cares for us; not just little, everyday things but these major problems as well. As a Christian, one thing we can emphatically tell others is that God cares. If he cares, someone may say, why does he let these tragedies happen? I have no special revelations about why God steps back and allows the devil to do his worst and then steps back in, to comfort and bless. I do know that he is a God of love who wants us turn to him in the time of trouble.
I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in personal change through the introspective, life-changing power of the Word of God. I also believe that God can provide direction and solutions to the world’s problems if we take the time to pray, which as a whole, we don’t.
I shared a story during my message Sunday and I’m not sure where I heard it. If anyone recognizes the story, send me the source.
A man was at home on a Sunday watching a football game. His young son was with him, but the boy was being pesky and bothersome and the man wanted to watch the game in peace. So to keep the boy occupied, he took a page out of the newspaper with a picture of the world, tore it into small pieces and gave it to his son, telling him to put the puzzle together.
About 10 minutes later, the boy comes back and says’ “Dad, I’m done”.
“How did you finish that so quickly?” says the Father.
“Well, Dad on the back of the picture of the world was a picture of a man. I just put the man together, and when the man came together; the world came together.”
Get it? When we get ourselves together as individuals, the whole world will come together. That was the message of our Savior. The disciples thought that Jesus was going to overthrow Rome and topple the government, but Jesus came to change men’s hearts, and thereby change the world. A world without hatred is a world without violence. Divine love in the hearts of mankind brings peace.
Widespread unrest and chaos happened in Noah’s day. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. (Genesis 6:11).
Rampant violence permeated the landscape in Jesus’ day and it is happening now in 2016. It’s heartbreaking.
Jesus prophesied about sudden violence
26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.
27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
28 It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.
Jesus gives a picture of normal everyday life and then sudden devastation.
We’ve seen that pattern… too much lately.
Let me tell you. Positions of global or national authority may not be within our reach, but in our own humble way, we can have a great influence in the direction of things around us. We can move the hand that moves the world.
If we doubt God’s hand in the world, we can look at the evidence of answered prayers in own our lives. Think of prayers we’ve spoken (even some quiet wishes) have been answered in amazing ways.
So often we pray and walk away. If we take the position of the woman in the bible who petitioned the unjust Judge we may see lasting results. This woman kept bugging the judge to give her what she needed and finally gave in just because she refuse to leave him alone. She was persistent.
If we believe in prayer, we should keep at it until we see results. We all want to live a quiet and peaceful life on this earth. If those us that know God would forget about our differences and humble ourselves and pray, God promised we would hear from heaven and he would heal the land.
Last Friday, I hosted a teleconference prayer meeting after the Dallas shootings because I believe in prayer and I know we need active solutions. I know that Jesus not only is the answer but He has the answer to our problems.