The Day After The National Day of Prayer

Yes, we should pray for those in need. Yes, our prayers need to be combined with actions.

It is essentially the day after the National Day of Prayer.  I am glad that President Donald Trump stepped up to the plate and ask for prayers for this nation and the people in Louisiana and Texas. It does take courage to make such a call; especially in today’s society.

I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. Over the years, I have heard many incredible ways that God has answered prayer. I have even seen some answered prayers, on a personal level. I am also a believer in combining prayers with actions.

In James 2:14-17 and 1 John 3:17-18, we are encouraged to love our brothers and sisters in both words and deeds.  James gives some practical examples in his illustration. In light of Hurricane Harvey, would you like to learn how?

 

You would think that it should be blatantly obvious. Call a major charity organization and learn how to help. Before you rush forward, I would suggest slowing down and talk with God, the Father about it.  Listen to what Jesus is saying to you.  As you’re praying, it would not be wrong to check the charity’s site.  Listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you, both personally and through God’s Word.

I have checked Donald Trump’s twitter feed and it is clear that the need is quite great.  The disaster did not just affect Houston, Texas. It seems other areas of Texas has been affected and the same is true of Louisiana. Some critics are complaining about the need for prayer when it should be obvious. Yes, it is true that help is seriously needed.

It is never wrong to apply wisdom to our actions.  Along with prayer, it is a good idea to ask “What can I do?” Not everyone can head to the devastated areas and help. How can you go about answering this question? I will point you to three good starting points on the Intenet.

Image result for Matthew 25:34For some churches, it is a matter of fundraising.  My home church is pointing people to Samaritan’s Purse.  You can visit their site at “Hurricane Harvey Landing Page Hub“.  You will discover a variety of ways to help.

Samaritan’s Purse isn’t the only one helping out. I found out that the American Red Cross is looking for volunteers, too.  Their link will take you to a page where you can learn more.  Blood donation isn’t the only thing they do.

A third option is the “United Methodist Committee On Relief“.  It seems UMCOR is similar to Samaritan’s Purse.  On both sites, you will find ways to help the flood victims in Louisiana and Texas.

Why don’t I say, “Houston, Texas”? I am fairly certain that Houston isn’t the only affected area. Before you rush off, I suggest that you follow the advice given on the UMCOR site.  They gave five good ways to help and the first one is “prayer“.  It is really is the best way to start helping.  You can begin by praying for the volunteers and the people, who already are on the ground.

You can also pray that the food and supplies get to where it is needed and the money isn’t hanging out on Fantasy Island. How about praying that people are protected against scammers? Why do I say this? Right now, there are many vulnerable people, who are desperate for help. You can pray that God will direct people to the right help and away from ravenous wolves.

Do you suppose that someone would appreciate a phone call from you?  Ask the Holy Spirit about who to call and reach out to.  Thanks to the Internet, it is not too hard to find people.  You should be careful, though. It is why I suggested prayer. It is also wise to talk with trusted friends.  It has been my experience that God has a way of working through fellow believers in Christ.

By now, I should have provided a wide range of options for helping people in the affected area.  Don’t feel bad, if you can only pray for people. Prayer is a powerful help to those, who can help. It is also thevery same thing that UMCOR and Samaritan’s Purse ask for.

I am going to end this article, witha question. Would you like to read about “Seeking God’s purpose in times of trouble or when problem arises?”

Barry Brindisi

Author of "You Are Not A Lesser Human".

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