Gilland: What to do when the world is falling apart

The heartbreaking images that we have all seen this past week are so painful and devastating that many are viewing the videos and reading the written accounts through eyes flooded with tears.

Regardless of our political views, the situation in Afghanistan is, from a humanitarian standpoint, dire. It is leaving most of us with questions such as: “What can be done?” “Is there anything I can do?”

The answer is yes…we can pray.

Hang with me for a moment. I am not talking about a response to life matters that is powerless and weak. In spite of what we may have personally experienced in our lives regarding prayer, it is not a trite exercise, a futile verbal utterance in the face of great need.

On the contrary, prayer is powerful, because the God to Whom we pray is all-powerful. And He is the one who invites us pray.

Allow me to offer three simple reasons why prayer is so important, and why it is critical to our daily lives.

First of all, Jesus told us to pray, instructing us to seek the Father, who resides in Heaven. He taught his disciples to call out to God for our daily needs, for forgiveness of our many sins.

Secondly, in His teaching of what is referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer,” Jesus promised that He would be with us, even in the very face of death. Prayer brings us to a point of communion with God that is tangibly real, leaving us with a sense of comfort and assurance that is simply not available by any other means.

Finally, perhaps the greatest reason to pray is the fact that God hears us, and He answers us. 1 John 5:14 tells us:

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. (ESV)

Here, as in the teaching of the Lord’s prayer, is the qualifier to our prayers: “…according to his will.” Our finite minds will never completely understand the will of God, or to even grasp a comprehension of what it is for which we are to pray.

But that shouldn’t stop us from praying to God Almighty, and especially so in such a time as now. With such needs as COVID, the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and this present and terrible crisis in Afghanistan, it is important that we pray.

And beyond these big picture issues, the fact remains that we all face myriad needs on any given day—in our families, in our jobs, and with our friends. Please join me in prayer, calling out to God for mercy in Haiti and Afghanistan, and in our own nation.

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