Draw courage from Scripture and pray for others in these challenging times.
We are definitely living in uncertain times. Most of us can’t help but watch the news of global and national crises on television or whatever device you choose. With the exception of “essential workers,” most of us have watched the world go by for the past few months, locked inside our places of shelter, venturing outside for a breath of fresh air when the weather permits. For those who do go out because they have to do so, we pray for each of them and their families and say “thank you” for doing for us what we cannot.
In times like these, the Scriptures offer hope and encouragement. Psalm 107:1-4 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies. For he has gathered the exiles from many lands, from east and west, from north and south” (NLT).
Words like these give context to our work and our world. We trust God to do His work as we yield to Him. He has equipped us and redeemed us.
Storms in Scripture:
But when everyday life gets a little heavy, like the day-in and day-out tension of these times, scriptural truth is magnified. We see that life is not unlike it’s been for centuries; it’s not unlike the dynamics of this story in Psalm 107:23-32 (NLT). Several vignettes in this passage magnify a story about professional sailors.
Some went off to sea in ships, plying the trade routes of the world.
They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action, his impressive works on the deepest seas.
He spoke, and the winds rose, stirring up the waves.
Their ships were tossed to the heavens and plunged again to the depths; the sailors cringed in terror.
They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end.
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves.
What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor!
Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation and before the leaders of the nation.
This is a picture of men who have traveled the seas. They knew their trade, and yet a storm arose. They were, in their professionalism, terrified. They had not seen anything like this. Perhaps they thought they could handle anything, but they couldn’t. Their professionalism failed them in the moment. So, what did they do? They called on the Lord, and He heard them. He answered them and brought them into safe harbor.
It’s not unlike today, when we are doing what we can, but things are completely outside of our control. The waves are high; the waves are low. We are getting seasick, getting battered about. In some cases, we’ve lost our sense of stability—so, where do we turn?
How to Face a Storm
We can run and hide; we can curl up in a ball, or we can call upon the Lord! We can bring stability to our lives and the lives of others, as God brings us into stability because we recognize His hand is in all things.
As you think about all that is going on around us—the challenges that the world is facing—go ahead and wash your hands often, but in the process, remember to wash each other’s feet (John 13:1-17).
Think about the things you can affect through prayer. We are Christians. We are his disciples. We need to reach out in appropriate ways, to help those to our left and to our right—to our neighbors, to our colleagues, to our families.
As you speak to the Lord, remember to pray for:
- Medical professionals in your life: doctors, nurses, lab techs, ER staff, and the EMS (emergency medical services). They are running toward the fire, and we need to hold them up.
- Firefighters and police.
- National leaders: the president, cabinet members, congress—or whatever country you’re in—whatever titles your leadership holds.
- State and municipal leaders and assistance agencies. They are overwhelmed in some cases.
- Local officials: mayors, city councils, and even your homeowners’ association.
- Our economic system: it’s one thing to be in a medical situation; it’s another to be in an economic one. Pray for your local store and the distribution system. How are they going to refill all those empty shelves? Pray for that. We will be there for them. We will shop appropriately, and not hoard. When we have the ability to offer assistance to others, we will share.
Pray for calm to be the watchword. In general, people tend to panic. We have our moments, but we know the Lord is with us. Remember, he who settles down in the protected place of the Most High shall dwell permanently beneath the defense of the Almighty (Psalm 91 paraphrased).
Many of our prayers are birthed through our understanding of God’s Word. You can turn to Scripture for specific needs, but there is a richness experienced once you understand how Scripture defines itself. We invite you to download our free “God’s Word Is …” devotional, packed with 7 truths to help you deepen your spiritual walk.