Jesus said, “Pray like this:
Our Father who is in heaven,
uphold the holiness of your name.
Bring in your kingdom
so that your will is done on earth as it’s done in heaven.
Give us the bread we need for today.
Forgive us for the ways we have wronged you,
just as we also forgive those who have wronged us.
And don’t lead us into temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.”
In Syria, as many as 100 people are dead because it seems that their own government dropped poisonous gas on them. Among the dead are many children.
What are we, living here in relative ease in Odessa, Texas, where dust storms and some occasional oilfield burnoff are the only unpleasant things we breathe in, supposed to do about this?
First and foremost, we are to care. it is very difficult to care, in a world where suffering meets us on the news all of the time. That’s why caring is such a bold witness for Christ in our world. Let your heart feel about this. Let your mind think about it.
Our caring then breaks our hearts enough that we can’t carry the burden. So we pray. We cry out to God, “Why? Where are you? Please help these people!” And then the always risky prayer, “What am I called to do?”
Here’s some actions God might call you to:
Give money to Week of Compassion, our Disciples disaster relief ministry which is working through our partners in Syria to provide aid: http://www.weekofcompassion.org
Call your senators and tell them our country should provide welcome to refugees fleeing these atrocities: Ted Cruz (202) 224-5922 and John Cornyn (202) 224-2934
Put together refugee kits for Church World Service: http://cwskits.org
Or something else God may call you to, beyond my imagining.
But whatever you do, do not give up hope and say, “The world is just going to hell. I’m going to change the channel.” Jesus taught us to pray that God’s reign would be known on earth as in heaven. Nothing less will satisfy the Christian who is praying like Jesus.