Monday, May 30, 2011

An Answer to Prayer

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

The news has been especially seedy lately. Not just the news, but also our reaction to it. Whether it’s Harold Camping and the end of the world, or the latest celebrity to have their adultery publicized, everyone has an opinion. And thanks to the internet and endless talk and news shows, there is no shortage of platforms on which to share. It is all too easy to make others an object of our ridicule, mockery, or just plain amusement. Even the victims of the tornado in Joplin, Missouri seem to be fair game.

Some of the comments posted on-line show great compassion while others are just plain maddening, but one note I read recently prompted my own desire for a platform. The comment was in response to a previous one stating that the writer would keep the people of Joplin in their prayers. Here was the reaction; “The people of Joplin don’t need prayers, they need people to come and help!”

This idea, no, this lie frustrates me. I want to reach across time and space, and look into the eyes of the writer and say, “People will come and help. They will bring clothes, and food, and medical supplies, and God’s promise of grace and salvation through his son Jesus. Don’t you see? People will come and help because they are an answer to our prayers. This is one of the many ways God cares for his children.”

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working,” James 5:16.

The day after the tornado struck, several members of our community were already making plans to head to Joplin, and even more were flooding their garages with supplies. God has created us all to show his love through very tangible means to his children when they need it most. He has created us to be his feet and hands, offering the love of Him who sends us.

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working,” James 5:16.

You may not have the time or resources to help the people of Joplin, but he has placed you in the midst of those in need in your own neighborhood. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith so that you can provide an answer to prayer to the glory of God and his Son. Your willingness to plan supper for a friend who is ill, shop for a neighbor who is homebound, or pack sandbags in preparation for a flood, your words of comfort and hope in our Savior; these are the good work paths which God has prepared for you to walk.

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working,” James 5:16.

What a blessing it is to know that God does indeed hear our prayers, and uses us in the depth of our sin, to care for his most prized possession. How privileged we are to share all our gifts of God. You are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for this.

Merciful Father,

May I never doubt that you hear and answer all my prayers. Guide my responses to those in need so that all I say and do may glorify your name. Help me use the earthly gifts you have given me to care for my neighbors and point them always to the eternal gifts of grace, faith, and salvation through your son, Jesus Christ.

In His Name Alone, Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Hi
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