Last week, I shared some ways to cope when the needs of the world are overwhelming.
If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to hop over and read that post before finishing this one.
I noticed something recently.
The longer I live, the more I’m aware of my own powerlessness.
That sounds like it could be a really depressing realization, but it doesn’t have to be.
It’s reality, after all, pure and simple.
I’m not saying that my life can’t make an impact.
I’m also not saying that there’s nothing for me to do here.
But when it comes to the very big needs of a very big world, my very best efforts on my very best days wouldn’t amount to a drop in the bucket of despair and brokenness that confronts us nearly everywhere we turn.
That thought just might drive me to hopelessness, were it not for my confidence in a God who is thoroughly able.
For every iota of power that I lack, He has it.
He’s not just powerful. He’s all-powerful.
It doesn’t get any better than that.
So when the world’s needs are overwhelming, I’ve trained my heart to turn first toward prayer.
Because prayer is always the best thing we can do, whether or not it’s the only thing we can do.
1.)Pray for clarity about God’s personal calling in my own life for this exact season at this exact time, acknowledging the surpassing superiority of His plans over my own.
2.)Pray for the desire and the ability to do what He has called me to do, and the grace to trust Him with what He has not called me to do.
3.)Pray for the work being done by God’s children in the world. Ask Him to strengthen those who are being hindered by obstacles or afflicted by persecution.
4.)Pray that many souls would be saved – both the suffering and the comfortable, the oppressed and the oppressors, those with plenty and those who are lacking.
5.)Pray for more laborers in the harvest. Ask Him to send more Gospel-bearers for the unsaved; more advocates for widows; more parents for orphans; more rescuers for the oppressed; and more healers for the hurting. Implore Him to wake up His people from their apathetic slumber, to grant them conviction and repentance from sins that are binding them, and to compel them toward greater service by His grace.
6.)Pray that governing officials would steward well their God-given roles, and that they would rule in the best interest of the people they have been commissioned to serve. Pray for world leaders; for federal government; for state government; and for local government. Pray for public servants – teachers, police officers, first responders, and others who are tasked with the education and protection of people God loves. Ask the Lord to allow Christians in these fields to be influential for His glory, and not their own agenda.
7.)Pray for God’s will to be done in the world, affirming to Him my belief in His power, my confidence in His kindness, and my faith in His work even when I can’t yet see the evidence of it.
When You Have No Words
Sometimes the grief is so sharp, the agony so raw, that words simply won’t come. Not even in prayer.
In those times, I claim this promise.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8:26)
When you don’t know how to pray, don’t run away. Don’t avoid His presence, believing the lie that He has better things to do than be with you when you can’t even muster the words to speak to Him.
After all, God’s number one priority for His children is that they would simply be with Him.
So be with Him, in all your heartache. Your anguish. Just sit with Him and allow His Spirit to comfort you and to speak the words your heart would say if it knew how.
What a Friend We Have in Jesus!
“Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.”