Have you ever uttered these words? I have. Most the time they are spoken after you’ve exhausted all possible things you could think to humanly do, when all else fails or your hands are tied.
While I write these words, my home state is a fiery inferno. I’ve watched classmates, friends, and family have their lives forever changed by ravaging fires. School kids are kept inside for recess rather than going outside to avoid the toxic smoke. Elderly people have become shut in for fear of the smoke ingestion. Places my family has spent numerous hours at making many memories have become charred in the blink of an eye. A feeling of helplessness ensues.
I found myself thinking, “All I can do is pray.” As soon as the thought entered my mind another followed. All I can do is pray? Shouldn’t that be the first weapon of defense? Why is it only when we have thought through all the things we can’t do, that we resign ourselves to prayer?
In James 5:16 we see that prayer has great power.
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16 (NLT)
When faced with a crisis, instead of weighing all our options and turning to prayer as a last resort, we should start there. Shouldn’t we want to use the most powerful weapon we have? God’s ability to handle all of life’s trials and tragedies is so far above our ability. Wouldn’t it make sense to put it in His hands and not try to figure things out our way?
Another verse in II Chronicles says, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” II Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)
It is indeed humbling to admit your inadequacies, to recognize God’s great power over all. Acknowledging His greatness and your inferiority in the whole grandness of life takes a stature of humility. Only when we come to this reality does the bible say He will heal our land. Our land won’t be healed by volunteering in your local shelter, giving money to charities, sending supplies and relief efforts. All of these are good and necessary. But, to truly have our land healed we must first turn to prayer, followed by action.
The country we live in is indeed in the midst of great crisis. Hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes are a few of the things we face. It’s time to put up our best defense, surrendering our ourselves to an Almighty God who controls the universe and everything in it. Only then will we see our land begin to heal and be restored.
Father help us to turn to you. May we remember the great power we have in prayer. Help us not lean on the power of ourselves but wholly on You. Amen.