Praying In the Face of Adversity

The news reports the last couple of weeks have been filled with the Ethiopian plane crash that killed 157 people including eighteen Canadians.  Many of the dead were people who worked for humanitarian organizations around the globe.  They were people who wanted to make the world a better place.  I cannot fathom the unimaginable grief felt by families who lost loved ones on that Ethiopian flight.   It is indeed one of the most tragic events in recent years.

I do not like flying.  Although my husband says it is a far safer mode of travel than day to day driving a car, I still don’t like it.  Especially when I hear of plane crashes such as the one this past week, where there appears to have been an aircraft problem.  Boeing aircraft are being grounded world-wide to determine what caused the crash and whether or not there was some kind of mechanical issue with that particular model of plane.  This is disconcerting for all travellers.  My husband and I are planning a holiday in June to celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary and I was trepidatious about our flights before this plane crash, and now I’m wondering how this investigation will affect us with booking air travel in the near future.  The sad fact remains, regardless of the findings, 157 people are gone.

How do we process such a tragedy?  I’ve listened to the news over the past week and I’ve been a bit disgusted by the focus on travellers being “inconvenienced” because of grounded planes, Boeing investors upset at falling stock prices, and questions about who will ultimately be responsible for the cost of clean up.  All I can think about are the grieving families.  Should they not be the main focus of attention?

The terrible shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand followed only days after the Ethiopian plane crash.  Fifty people massacred while praying in their mosque.  When people feel threatened and unsafe in their chosen places of worship, we have a serious, world-wide problem.  There is no excuse for that kind of violence against any faith group.  As Christians we need to condemn this horrendous act.

I think because of the fact that we are so globally linked through the internet, we are inundated with news, fake and otherwise, that has us question whether or not God really is in control right now.  Locally, my prayer journal is filled with requests from friends and church family who are experiencing health and life-changing challenges.  I find myself overwhelmed at times by the misfortunes and hurts of others.  Surely, there must be some Good News?!  How can I give Him praise in the face of adversity?

The Holy Spirit spoke to me through Scripture today: “O God, listen to me! Hear my prayer! For wherever I am, though far away at the ends of the earth, I will cry to you for help. When my heart is faint and overwhelmed, lead me to the mighty, towering Rock of safety. For you are my refuge, a high tower where my enemies can never reach me. I shall live forever in your tabernacle; oh, to be safe beneath the shelter of your wings! For you have heard my vows, O God, to praise you every day, and you have given me the blessings you reserve for those who reverence your name.  You will give me added years of life, as rich and full as those of many generations, all packed into one. And I shall live before the Lord forever. Oh, send your loving-kindness and truth to guard and watch over me, and I will praise your name continually, fulfilling my vow of praising you each day.” (Psalm 61 – The Living Bible – TLB)

I am called to praise Him, no matter the struggle, no matter the plight, no matter the fear.  He is Sovereign.  He is in control.  He hears my prayers.  He is the mighty, towering Rock of safety.  He is my refuge!

Today, I am praying that in the midst of adversity, in the midst of trouble, in the midst of heartache, I will continue to praise Him!

Will you join me in praying for the families who are grieving the loss of loved ones over these past few weeks?  Will you pray that they will be comforted by the Holy Spirit and He will be revealed to them even in their heartache?  Then, join me in praising God in the midst of adversity.  He is in control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Psalm 23 – From Relationship to Eternity and Everything In Between

I was digging through some old files the other day and came across this nugget I saved during my cancer journey.  It is worth sharing!

Psalm 23 – From Relationship to Eternity and Everything In Between

The Lord is my shepherd;———————————————–That’s Relationship!
I shall not want.————————————————————–That’s Supply!
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;——————–That’s Rest!
He leads me beside still waters.—————————————That’s Refreshment!
He restores my soul;——————————————————–That’s Healing!
He leads me in the paths of righteousness————————That’s Guidance!
For His name’s sake.——————————————————–That’s Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,—–That’s Testing!
I will fear no evil;————————————————————That’s Protection!
For You are with me;——————————————————-That’s Faithfulness!
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.———————–That’s Discipline!

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;—–That’s Hope!
You anoint my head with oil;——————————————-That’s Consecration!
My cup overflows.———————————————————–That’s Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;—————————————————–That’s Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord————————–That’s Security!
Forever and ever.————————————————————-That’s Eternity!

 

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Prayer Hotline – Prayers for Finances, Confidence, Kindness, Discouragement and Pride

The last post in the “Prayer Hotline” series focuses on some timely topics for me.  As I said in the first post in the series, praying God’s Word back to God gives me a peace and clarity over my particular situation, and when I use God’s own words by praying Scripture, I am aligning myself with His heart and praying according to His will.

Prayer Hotline

If you are feeling financially stressed, pray Psalm 37:1-11.  “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.  Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Take delight in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lordtrust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.  Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.  For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.  A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.  But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.”

If you are lacking confidence, pray Hebrews 4:14-16.  “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

If people seem unkind, pray John 15:18-27.  “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’  “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.  And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”

If you are discouraged about your work, pray Psalm 126.  “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed.  Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.  Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”  The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.  Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev.  Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.  Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”

If you find the world growing small and yourself great and prideful, pray Psalm 19.  “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.  They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.  Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.  In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.  It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.  It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.  The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.  The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.  The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.  The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.  The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.  By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.  But who can discern their own errors?  Forgive my hidden faults.  Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.  May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

AMEN.

 

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