When the disciples asked Jesus what the sign of His coming and the end of the age would be He replied, “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Matthew 24:4-8
While the world has entertained earthquakes, famines, tyrannical leaders, and wars since the beginning of time, our modern one-world civilization not only brings these sobering realities into our homes, but now directly into the palm of our hands. Straight as a crow flies, catastrophe and misfortune no sooner happen before transmitted into presence. If we're not careful it can breed great anxiety and distress, which is why prayer is so important in these last days.
Without hiding our heads in the sand, prayer provides the strength needed to be aware of what's going on in the world without becoming overwhelmed. It offers great power during otherwise helpless times and enables us to accomplish in the spiritual realm things we could never achieve in the physical. I love how it equips me to rise above the frailty of my weak and limited flesh. When I can do nothing physically to help another in need, I can tap into the power of our eternal God through prayer, an honor and privilege bestowed to children of the Lord.
As I watch footage from Japan's recent earthquake and tsunami, while my heart aches for their pain and loss, I hold true to my personal decree to never remain stagnate in grief. After all, what good does my mourning do for those in need if it fails to propel me toward prayer? I've long since learned that pain is in fact a vital nutrient for powerful prayer. Perhaps this is why God does not always spare us from distress but chooses to walk with us amidst our sorry so we may commune with Him on a level deeper than possible in seasons of ease and comfort.
Times are becoming increasing tougher as the coming of Jesus approaches. Like a woman in labor, the earth groans for His return and with wars, famines, and persecution on the rise, maintaining an inner balance will only become a greater challenge. If you feel overwhelmed when turning on the news, instead of turning it off (even though there is a time to do just that) or helpless and hopeless, turn your heart toward God. Cling to the truth that He is in control and nothing catches Him by surprise. He hears your prayers and grants great peace to those who medicate on Him.
Take heart in knowing that even though heaven and earth will one day pass away, the word of God lives for ever. He is our solid foundation and when we stand on Him, we will not be shaken. Current events of today must come to pass for our Savior's return. In the meantime, He promises to provide all our needs. What a refreshing breath of air!
Dear Father bless those who are suffering in the tragedy of this day. Move your Spirit in a mighty way and show your great power. Strengthen those who are weak and guide the lost. Watch over those tending to rescue efforts and guard their hearts and minds of the horror that lies ahead. Use this time to bring about your kingdom's come and grant us increased faith so we may shine your light in this ever-so-dark world. Keep the eyes of our heart on you in both the good and bad times for we love you Lord, Savior, and King!
Feel free to write a prayer of your own on behalf of those in need.