The past few weeks for us here in the Pacific Northwest have felt very uncertain. Sweeping changes impacting our day-to-day lives have taken over our routines, and even the most mundane parts of my life are now totally on hold. No gym or science classes for the kids, no library visits, no school anywhere. The sidewalks are eerily quiet and parks are sparse with few kids who are immediately doused with hand sanitizer when they depart.
Lemme tell you friend, this girl doesn’t miss her daily coffee run unless it’s SUPER important. Needless to say I’m learning how to brew coffee at home. It’s awful. And I miss my barista.
More important than all these interruptions and inconveniences are all the people in my city and state who are scared. The hospitals and medical clinics are overwhelmed with both sick people and scared people. It’s flu season, a lot of us are sick and wondering if it is something more serious.
The need for prayer right now cannot be overstated.
With fear swirling around us, it’s easy to get caught up in doubt and ask ourselves, “Does God even hear me?” or “Do my prayers matter?” As Christians we must take extra precaution to not fall into the fearmongering around us. We are wise to be informed and prepared, but the very first place we are to prepare is the heart and mind. If our first instinct is to pick up on what the storm of news has in store for us today then we immediately forget that God knows our needs. Not only do we forget this, we begin to doubt it.
When my heart starts to doubt God’s goodness, I ask myself, did He provide for me yesterday? Did he give me my daily bread? Did I have a roof over my head? Was I healthy yesterday? Don’t stop at the basics, think of the specific prayers you prayed yesterday/last week/last month. Doubts have a funny way of turning the phrase, “God knows my needs” into, “Does God know my needs?”
Fill our hearts with gratitude
Jesus reassures us in Matthew 6:8 that the Father knows our needs before we even ask. We do not need to spend our prayer time trying to cover all the bases of what could go wrong each day. We don’t need to ruminate in the What Ifs that flood our thinking. What we need more than ever are prayers saturated with gratitude.
When I remember God’s providence and dwell on His promises I feel hope. I know He is in control and I am not. What wonderful miracles and opportunities await if I only trust in Him and remain diligent in prayer! We are surrounded by opportunities that are new to us and to our culture. There are doors open to conversation that otherwise would not be open. We cannot miss that people for a few weeks are aware that they are not in control of what happens next. God is here for us and for others as well.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared when I hear things that could happen here. I have older people in my life that I am scared for. I’m scared for the people in my life who aren’t taking any precautions or taking this very seriously. But rather than sit and let that fear grow, I’ve tried to make prayer my first course of action. Remember that God is with us and He’s listening. Let us have gratitude.
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