This is a season of joy.
I don’t remember another year as full as this one of startling news around the world. But that doesn’t change the fact that Jesus’ life and death cover every single person, group and nation that flash across our television, computer and cell phone screens.
As I’ve felt powerless over these past months when I see the violence and grief around the globe, I have felt God drawing me into praying about them. My prayers typically begin, “Lord, I feel helpless, but I know that You are not helpless…”
To pray as practically and powerfully as possible, I have found help through certain scriptures and websites. The website that has had the most powerful effect on me is called Prayer Ideas, where videos show scenes from various countries while a local believer prays for that country. You can find it here. Even though I work with many precious, gentle Muslim teens, I find it alarming to think about all those of that religion that are brutalizing others. But while watching this video for the first time, I shed tears of joy as I listened to Middle East believers praying for God to deliver and change hardened hearts. It reminds me that no matter how bleak the news reports are, there are just as many victories unreported of God’s grace and power in the lives of victims and perpetrators alike. God is there, and He is at work accomplishing his will!
Some of the tools that help me pray, especially for the terrorists and the Middle East, are the prayers at prayingscriptures.com, prayerideas.org, prayercast.com, and worldinprayer.org. Psalm 10:12-18, Isaiah 55:3-13, Job 24:22-24 are some encouraging verses that I’ve copied and keep handy.
We can and do celebrate joyfully this Christmas season because we remember that Jesus accomplished the purpose for which he was born on this earth!
And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
Yet pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor does He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
[Image: the public domain image The Nativity by Federico Barocci (1526-1612) is courtesy of www.reuseableart.com . The portion of the Christmas carol is from “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”, music by Jean Baptiste Calkin, lyrics by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]