Three out of four mornings in a row, I woke up to a new tragedy happening in Orlando. I would open up my Facebook app to see if any of my pregnant friends had their babies over night or if any new wedding pictures had been posted by those that just tied the knot and instead, disaster greeted me. A beautiful young singer, shot down after a show, 49 people killed out of nowhere, a little boy taken from the arms of his parents by a crocodile attack, and I’m sure so many other tragedies that I’m unaware of.
It has weighed heavily on my heart. I’ve cried tears and prayed prayers that I never wanted to and these weren’t even people that I knew. It’s just that all of these tragedies are too much for my heart to bear. They’re too much for me to understand or process or even accept because it could happen to anyone. Our world is so full of hurt and sadness and it’s heavy. Too heavy.
None of these things are new. There’s always been tragedy in this world. Parents have always buried their children. Violence has always plagued us. Hate has always contaminated our world. It doesn’t take a very discerning eye to see that humanity is a sorry lot when left to these devices and that’s where I’ve been at — a loss for words and explanations for the world that we live in — and all I can think to do is pray.
We say that all of the time. “All we can do is pray.” We throw it out there like a last resort or something that’s not good enough because, at that point when all we can do is pray, we’re at the end of our ropes and we can’t think of anything else within our power to do. We say it like it’s not good enough. Like all that we have left, prayer, is nothing better than crossing our fingers or wearing our lucky socks.
The fact of the matter though is that when we get to the point where all we can is pray, we are at our most effective place.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
Are you at the same place that I am? One that’s full of discouragement for the state of our world? One that’s plagued with sadness and heart break for those that are hurting and hating? One that seems like you are powerless to do anything but pray?
That’s where we need to be. We need to be humble and contrite and ready to say, “I don’t know what else to do here except acknowledge that we are helpless apart from you Lord and we need you every second of every day to heal this land that’s so very broken.”
We need to pray like we’ve never prayed before. We need to pour out our hearts and our confessions and our desires and fears and let the Lord take them all and heal them. We need to surrender our actions and words to Him so that He can take them and redeem them and make them Holy and effective. So that He can heal our land.
Because it’s so very broken. You see it as clearly as I do, the help that we need. You can feel it and sense it and it’s that very shattered state that it’s in that turns us toward prayer.
So this week, let’s humble ourselves. Let’s search our hearts and find the sins therein. Let’s confess them and turn from them and instead of seeking out our own desires, let’s seek His face. Let’s seek it like we’ve never sought it before. And for all that’s broken in this world of ours, let’s pray. Pray without ceasing, pray without fear, pray without discouragement. And then the healing will come.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV