Sometimes (okay, fairly often) when I start to pray about the big issues that affect the world I find myself lost in a sea of needs and uncertainty. I don’t know where to begin, I feel overwhelmed by the magnitude, I don’t know where to focus. In my last post I described finding a focus on praying for rain for nations facing famine and for a time I have prayed that prayer with great expectancy and fervency.
The trouble is, as I pray, I find myself asking questions:
Will it really make a diffence to those starving now if it rains on lands that have poor agriculture, unsettled or dangerous political situations and damaged infrastructure? – Surely even if rain falls and the land is replenished it will take too long to grow a decent crop or rear healthy animals let alone distribute the food to those who so desperately need it?
Isn’t climate a global issue? – I’m not worried about how changing the weather in Somalia and South Sudan would affect the rest of the region or world (I’m pretty sure God is capable of sending rain on a nation without damaging the global weather systems!). Rather I’m wondering if there are bigger issues to pray into such as the deforestation & poor land management I learned about in school geography or global changes affected by climate cycles and human activity.
Finally, I wonder if my prayers – and those of some of you reading this and those I believe are praying in those nations – are really enough to address such a massive issue. In my experience and research there does seem to often be a relationship between the size of a problem and the quantity of quality faith-filled prayer before there is an answer.
Fortuately, the great news is that when I pray I am not trying to achieve anything on my own. I am not creating a formula for success or incanting a ritual to make something happen. I am talking to my Father in Heaven about something that concerns Him. I am asking the Creator of the universe to intervene in His creation according to His loving purpose and His gracious will. I am identifying myself with the needs of a group of people who have as much value in His eyes as I do – and I remember my Father has shown Himself faithful to provide for my needs. Just as in my own needs I must look at God rather than the problem, so I fix my eyes on Jesus as I consider the needs of those facing famine. I am asking Him for wisdom as I pray. And I believe He has told me to pray for rain.
So for now, until I understand things a bit more and He reveals more to me, I will continue to start by praying for rain in Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria. Oh Lord, send the rain… bring stability and peace… provide for them as You always have for me. Lord, let it rain!
I’m linking this post with Tell His Story this week. I really recommend you look at http://jenniferdukeslee.com for inspiring thoughts and stories.