For the past five days my heart has been breaking as I’ve watched news reports coming out of Japan. The destruction, death, and devastation have gripped my heart. I see the faces of little ones and think of my own. I watch the tears of those who have lost family members and homes and I can’t imagine the feeling. I want to do something. I have to do something, but what is there to do at a time like this for a country a world away? I’m sure many of you have felt the same way. What can we do? Well, for most of us we simply can’t go to Japan. It just isn’t possible. We can send money to help relief agencies like the Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse, or World Vision. They need our help because their work is overwhelming and will go on for months and months, if not years. There is an equally important way for you and me to help and that is prayer. I believe in prayer. I read in God’s Word over and over again that God invites us to “call out to Him and He will answer us.” Jeremiah 33:3 There are so many situations going on in Japan right now that desperately need prayer. Here are a few of the things I am praying about.
* For God’s mercy and compassion to envelop the Japanese people.
* For those who are grieving the loss of loved ones and friends.
* For those who are recovering the bodies of the deceased. (I know from working with those at the Murrah bombing how traumatic that job can be.)
* For those who are trying to figure out how to prevent a nuclear disaster.
* For food and water for those who are hungry and thirsty.
* For relief workers who are seeking to comfort and provide for those in shelters.
* For the Christian missionaries who were already in Japan that they might minister with hearts full of compassion and empathy.
* For the countries of the world to come together to rush to the aid of the Japanese people.
I want to challenge you to take time every day to pray for the people of Japan. It is so easy, because the destruction is a world away, to simply go on about our business and say, “There but for the grace of God go I.” That is a cop out! All we have to do is remember… the Murrah bombing, the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York, Hurricane Katrina, fires that have recently ravaged our own city, and tornadoes that have ripped through Oklahoma in the past. If we remember the pain that we have experienced in times past we will be much more diligent to pray for those who are in pain at this very moment. Jesus loves the people of Japan. Will we love them enough to stop what we are doing and pray?
In His Steps,