How to Pray

How to pray – Part 7, praying for crises

This devotional is written by Charlotte Anderson. Charlotte is queen of all things prayer.

Philippians 4:1-7

4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!... 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Since mid-June we have been meeting every Thursday evening at 7.45pm to pray for our country and our world. It has been such a precious time and many of us have been really aware of God's presence with us as we lift up the things we read in the news and the areas we want to see change. I have always been particularly fond of John's story from the Life Course where he shares about how he found himself praying for drug busts and then reading about them actually having taken place in the newspaper! When we pray, it changes things. Yet I am also aware this can feel incredibly daunting. So, I wanted to take a little break from looking at the Lord's prayer and give us some space to look at how we can pray for the big, sometimes overwhelming things going on in our world.

Reflection

My favourite model for praying through a crisis comes from 24/7 prayer:

1. Get Informed: Gather the basics of the story. What's happening? Where? Who is affected? Who are the key leaders and who will be responding with aid? What are the needs right now?

2. Pray for People: Pray for those who are negatively affected. Pray for those who have their lost families, homes and hope. Pray for those who are still in danger. Who are the lost, vulnerable and forgotten in that society?

3. Pray for the Circumstances: What are the problems that only God can fix? Ask God to intervene.

4. Pray for those in Power: Who are the decision makers that can impact the crisis - both the leaders in that country and those who can help. Pray for mercy, compassion and wisdom as they deal with the crisis.

5. Pray for the Church: Who can spread God's love and God's hope in the situation? Pray for pastors, churches and non-government organisations that they would be equipped with all they need to bring aid.

Why don't you give this a go today? Is there someone you could text and ask to pray with you on the phone? Open your news app and pick a story to take to God. Follow the model and remember whilst sometimes we may pray for a long time before we see breakthrough, sometimes all it takes is one prayer to bring lasting change.

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