• on August 1, 2016

Prayer During Heavy Times

by Daniel Burton
by Daniel Burton

After the month of July, my heart is, frankly, heavy. In the past few months we have seen multiple terrorist attacks as ISIS continues to target the innocent.  Immediately, we have seen the politicization of these attacks to match whatever beliefs that the particular party feels without actually addressing the hurt of the people.  We have seen news agencies twist the facts to spin a particular viewpoint and the political leaders fall to disunity and petulant name-calling. It was during this time, I felt a strong sense to be in prayer.

To be completely honest and transparent, while I knew this was a time for prayer, it for some reason didn’t feel like enough.  I wanted to do something.  Join the police.  Join the military.  Something.  Anything.  So I sat there, gradually becoming overwhelmed by the state of the fallen world feeling powerless to do anything.  I couldn’t help the victims in any of the tragedies.  I didn’t have a political voice to steer the country.  All I had was prayer and it didn’t feel like enough.  I wanted to leap into action and single handedly steer the ship and right the wrongs of society but was impotent to accomplish that.

PrayerIn my own weakness and vulnerability, I began to pray.  I prayed for God to heal my heart and give me peace.  In that moment before, I had a lapse of faith.  For that moment, I felt that prayer could not do anything and needed my immediate action. I would have to be the superhero that would save humanity.  The reality of the situation is that prayer, when it is all we have, is enough and the best thing that we can do.  If I put my faith in a sovereign God who can do all things, then I can have faith that He is Lord over even the darkest moments.  During those times of crisis, to walk through every day, remember that God is God and we are not.

God Is God

There are a vast number of times in the Old Testament where God reminds His people that “I am the Lord your God” who delivered them from Egypt, Ur, and every other captivity they faced.  Usually he reminded them in the face of new challenges that seems insurmountable.  During that time, God reminded them of all the times that look like they would perish but that He prevailed.  God would not let His people be demolished.  God would prevail because He is sovereign and omnipotent, ruling over all and able to do all things.

With our world facing the trials that it is facing, God is STILL God and God has not relinquished the throne.  The world has seen tougher times, but do not fear, because our God has already conquered death itself.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 4:6-7, NIV

We can bring our prayers and our requests of even the heaviest of times because we know that our God is greater.  Ultimately, we relinquish the control of the situation from our hands into the hands of someone greater than we are.

I Am Not

PrayerI am not God, nor can I be God.  Compared to the vastness of the glory of God, my power falls tremendously short.  When we try and strive on our own to accomplish the will of God we will fail simply for the fact that we are trying to be something we are not: God.  The will of God can only be achieved as the hand of God reaches through our own.  As the world goes through all the vast and complex situations, the best thing I can do is to place it all in the most capable hands.  Being completely honest and transparent, those hands are not mine.  Those are the hands of God.  When I bring things to God in prayer, I know they are in better hands.

So, as the world tension rises, I will do the best thing I know to do.  I will pray.  I will pray for peace among those God made in His image.  And sometimes, I will sit, overwhelmed at the state of things.  And sometimes I will cry.  Yet I will do all these things knowing that I am in the best hands possible, crying out to be held by a mighty, sovereign God.

That is my prayer.

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