GM: PRAYER, HURRICANE MATTHEW AND GOD’S PLANS FOR US IN CHRIST JESUS
Last night, perhaps in response to conversation with some of my non believing and even atheist friends, I posted this on my Facebook page.
As long as we are not at the last place, not facing our problems at all, but simply pleased to be in existence, pleased to be healthy and happy, we will never find God, we so not see any need for Him – Oswald Chambers.
One of the main things that, so far, has emerged out of our preliminary experience with #HurricaneMatthew, is that a lot of people have praying for mercy. On Twitter, on Facebook, on Radio, on WhatsApp and privately. Why?
Because this is no ordinary storm. Because this is a monster of a system, packing winds which at Cat 5 can destroy concrete buildings. And carry rainfall which can devastate a nation.
So even people who don’t normally pray much or are even religious, accept, at least in their head, the need for #DivineIntervention.
But true Faith, which believes that God can do what seems impossible, and help us to be resolute and steadfast in the face of danger, and which leads us to protect the vulnerable and the disadvantaged, is a Gift from a Merciful and Loving God. And which spiritual truth was the thrust of a wonderful sermon delivered by the head of the Anglican Church in Jamaica, Bishop Howard Gregory, yesterday at my church.
And a truth which was ‘ my song in the night’, last night as I recalled our Bishop quoting St. Paul that we are to:
” Eagerly desire the greater gifts”.
Faith, Hope and Love.
Then this morning as I read the famous Jeremiah passage, the OT reading for Sunday ( at least one option), where the children of Israel, in exile, with their, ‘ backs against the wall’, and metaphorically facing their own #HurricaneMatthew, were given these words of comfort:
http://bible.com/111/jer.29.11-14.NIV For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord , “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord , “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
And we all know the Truth, that sinful human beings can only find God in and through the shed Blood of Christ our Savior. Therefore our only response to danger of any sort, lest like the Facebook post we become too comfortable, is to seek to know Christ, the only mediator between God and sinful mankind. And not just pray for mercy from the ravages of Hurricanes, although that’s a good first step.
And then in Devotional Bible I encountered this meditation ( which is really what inspired me to write.)
YOU WILL SEEK ME AND FIND ME ( Edited)
Mozarabic Sacramentary – 3rd century liturgy used by believers in parts of the Iberian peninsula….Spain and Portugal
As you read, remember the Anthem: My Hope, My Faith, My Love all gifts from God, are built on nothing less than Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness.
Lord, when we think only of our own wants and desires, we are impatient to have them satisfied, yet in our hearts we know that such satisfaction will crumble to dust. Give us that spirit of hope which can enable us to want what you want, and to wait patiently on your time, in the knowledge that in you alone comes true and lasting pleasure.
O Lord, you have brought all your faithful people into a single, universal family, stretching across the heaven and earth. Bind us together with a spiritual love which is stronger than any human love, that in serving one another we may neither count the cost nor seek any reward, but think only of the common good.
O God, through the death of your Son, you reconciled us to one another, drawing us together in the bond of peace. In times of trouble and adversity, may your peace sustain us, calming our fretful and anxious hearts, and saving us from all hateful and violent activities.
O God, in revealing to us the perfect spiritual beauty of your Son, you have shown the grotesque ugliness of our depravity, and so filled us with remorse. We beg you, Lord, to reach down to us in your mercy, re-creating is us the image of your Son, that we may be fit to live with him in your heavenly kingdom.
Comment: All prayers to a merciful God, in and through Christ and Him Crucified, ought then to have an element of repentance in them. So that as Solomon prayed: Lord hear and forgive, we too may pray for forgiveness and mercy.
In such a manner then we seek for the higher Gifts, and for Mercy, at all times, not presuming that we are any ‘ prayer warriors ‘ who know how to pray, and who ‘advertise’, that God hears our prayers. But rather acknowledging that ‘ we are miserable sinners’ seeking forgiveness and mercy. For ourselves and the people in Haiti and Cuba, and wherever danger exists.
All because our Hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness. And not on any merit of ours!
Peace, then as we continue to watch and pray. Without ceasing! In good times and in bad times.