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Thursday, May 28, 2015

PRAYING IN DISASTER

I have been alarmed over the recent disasters like earthquakes in Nepal and the Philippines. I have also been concerned about potential disaster closer to my home. On the west coast we are in the midst of a multi-year drought. We are coming into summer with the least mountain snow pack ever recorded. And Texas and Oklahoma have come out of a four year drought with tornadoes and deadly flooding. Have you noticed the price of eggs? Eggs have doubled and tripled in cost is because millions of tons of chickens as well as turkeys have been slaughtered and buried because of an epidemic of bird flu. My brother kept bees for many years. He finally had to stop because so many colonies were disappearing. I heard now that 40% of bee colonies died in the past year. I noticed a display in the grocery store this week with “local honey” being sold for about $20/lb. This is also a crisis for farmers and gardeners and all of us who need to eat what grows from the ground. Without bees, fruits and vegetables will not be able to pollinate and produce.
Frankly this is a lot like Biblical predictions of the last days. I can hear the seals of Revelation 6 being broken. Doesn’t this sound like Revelation 6:6?
“And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying,
‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius,
and do not harm the oil and wine!’”
Of course anytime you bring such passages up in scholarly circles you find someone who will point out that such things have always happened. And that is right. But pardon me if I believe those passages are still true and will certainly be fulfilled.
However, a more important question is how should we pray, how will we pray in days of disaster? The Lord intentionally led Abraham to pray as He was preparing to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because He was going to bless all nations through him. Make no mistake. Even in days of disaster God intends to use you to share the blessing of the gospel with all the earth. In light of this I have several suggestions for how we should pray.
First, pray together and pray fervently. The first chapter of Joel calls us to call a sacred assembly and cry out to the Lord. Are things not serious enough for us to call people to come together in earnest prayer?
Second, pray that we will not fall into temptation. As Jesus warned, "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Pray that you will not sin because things are tough. As with Job, God will glorify His name by our obedience in the midst of trials. We also need to pray for each other to stand strong in the face of temptation.
Third, we need to pray for hurting people as we seek to minister to them in times of crisis and judgment on the earth. When we obediently minister to hurting people in these days, we also bring supernatural power into their lives as we pray for them.
And fourth, but certainly not finally, Pray for people to repent and turn to God in the face of judgment that is coming on the earth. If you pray about this, I strongly suspect God will lay on your heart other ways to pray in the face of disaster.

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