This is not the blog post I intended to write this week.
I’ve been working on a post about Hagar’s story in Genesis for a few weeks now and I spent time this week putting the final touches on it. But as I tried to craft the final sentences, nothing was coming together like I needed it to.
The truth is, my heart is elsewhere.
Perhaps you have heard of the horrific wildfires spreading across the Western part of my beloved state of North Carolina. The wildfires have now made their way into a place that is near and dear to my heart, Gatlinburg, TN.
You see, my husband and I spent our first week as husband and wife walking those precious city streets. It is a place full of culture, warmth, and love. I feel it every time I visit. Its beauty is prestige and unmatched for me.
But things have taken a horrific turn. People are losing their homes, losing everything they own. It is simply heartbreaking to see. I sat at my desk looking at image after image of this beloved city burning to the ground. I thought about all the people having to leave their homes knowing it wouldn't be there when they returned. I thought about the emergency personnel who are literally risking their lives to help. With tears in my eyes I thought, what can I do Lord? What can I do?
The only thing I knew to do was pray. Pray, I thought. Right now that is all I can do.
Sometimes all we can do is pray because there is simply not anything more we can do. Sometimes the only thing we can do is put our knees on the floor, clinch our hands together and cling to God's promises through prayer. We pray for whatever hurt is happening, whatever destruction. Pray for whatever situation there seems to be no end to. Pray for resolution. Pray for peace.
When all you can do is pray, that is what you do friend. You pray.
I know it sounds cliché, even silly to think that the words we pray during these desperate times and situations will do anything to help. But let me tell you, they do. I believe in the power of prayer. With every fiber in me I believe in it. I’ve seen its effects firsthand.
There have been times when I’ve witnessed very dear friends walk through unbelievable hurt and pain and I wanted nothing more than to take it away from them. I would have given anything to do so. As time wore on, I had nothing left to offer them. No more words of encouragement. No positive outlook. No silver lining.
But I could pray. And so, I did. I prayed prayers I have never prayed before in my life. Prayers of questioning. Prayers of unbelief at times. Prayers of hopelessness on their behalf. But then came the prayers of power. Prayers of understanding. Prayers of trusting and believing.
Sometimes all we can do is pray and we must believe in the power of that.
I am a doer. I am a take action kind of girl. So let me be transparent here, this is hard for me. Sitting still, not having a plan, not helping someone, is really hard for me to bear. But sometimes God doesn’t need us to take action. He needs us to rest in Him and trust in His promises.
God is still on the throne. He is still in control. We may feel helpless but God is not helpless. We may feel weary but God is not. He is our stronghold. We may feel desperate and broken but God is the sculptor, The One who puts us back together.
There may be a situation in your life right now where you feel utterly helpless. Powerless. Unsure. Fearful of what’s to come. Everything seems out of your control and you don’t know what else to do. Friend, you keep praying. There is power in prayer. There is power when we lift up one another in the name of Jesus.
“Never stop praying”
1 Thessalonians 5:17
There is certainly a time and a place to take action. But there is also a time and a place for us to let God work and do only the things God can do.
And so we pray. And we keep praying. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Friends, will you join me in praying for the many things that I’m sure are heavy on our hearts?
Pray for rain and relief for the wildfires. Pray for the people who are losing everything precious to them. Pray for our nation and the division that only seems to grow with each passing day. Pray for peace. So much peace.
How can I pray for you?