CLERGY CORNER: Our collective prayer for the world

Posted on 14 September 2017 by LeslieM

As I write this, it’s 4:05 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, and I am hunkered down in my office patiently awaiting Hurricane Irma — stocked with Voltage soda and plenty of candy. This article releases after Irma will have passed, undoubtedly leaving a path of destruction and many asking why? Why God? Why Irma? Why Harvey? Why an earthquake off the coast of Mexico? Why the wildfires in Montana and LA [and Oregon]? Why the flooding in South Asia? Why?

Though we may not be able to fully understand the why ourselves, I do know our God is sovereign — fully in control. Still, naturally, we seek answers; yet it was the apostle Paul, a follower of Jesus, in his letter to the Romans, that writes, “How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His ways. For who can know the Lord’s thoughts?” Romans 11:33-34 NLT). So what can we do? James, the brother of Jesus, writes, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16 NLT). So let us “[not] worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what [we] need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then [we] will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)

With that said, join me in praying in one accord, without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), the following:

Dear Lord, we first and foremost approach You in thanksgiving. We thank You for Your creation: the land and the seas; the sun that shines so brightly that we need specially approved glasses to gaze upon it. We thank You for salvation through Your Son Jesus — for His sacrifice on the cross that set us free from the punishment of our sins. We thank You for Your Word and the awe-inspiring ways You reveal Yourself to us. You are the Alpha and the Omega; the Beginning and the End. You are our Father in Heaven and we come before you with heavy hearts. God, to those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, beloved pet and/or property, we ask for Your peace and comfort to overflow upon them. Allow them to feel Your presence physically, but also recognize Your care and concern for them through the local body of believers co-laboring alongside them in the restoration efforts.

Father, continue to keep watch over the first responders: the military, police, fire/EMS, medical professionals, power company linemen, disaster relief staff/volunteers and anyone assisting in the relief efforts. We honor them for their sacrifice — physical, mental and financial, as they put their life on the line, and on hold, to serve others. We also pray for and give thanks for those who were unable to physically be present during a global relief event but donated money and/or resources.

Lord, we also pray for the local governments. Let them feel supported by their constituency and not grow weary in the completion of their duties. Remind them that You alone have established them in their role for such a time and place as this (Romans 13:1 NLT); and that they have access to Your power, wisdom and knowledge.

Most High, we also give thanks for and pray for the many churches, corporations and small businesses that have rallied together to provide relief such as shelter, food and other necessities that ensure safety and reestablishes communication between loved ones. Allow the private sector to know our gratitude for their sacrifice, assistance and sense of obligation to the world at large.

Lastly, we pray that through all that has occurred, and is still ongoing that the world will, through our unity, experience Your presence and recognize that you sent us — the Body of Christ (John 17:23 NLT), and that no trouble or calamity, persecution, hunger or danger — not even death; nothing in all creation, which includes natural disasters — can separate them from Christ’s love. “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is [theirs] through Christ…” (Romans 8:31-39 NLT). To You be the glory. Amen.

C.J. Wetzler is the NextGen pastor at The Church at Deerfield Beach. Before transitioning into full-time ministry, CJ was a commercial airline captain and high school leadership and science teacher. For questions or comments he can be reached at cj@dfb.church.

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