Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Praying Without Ceasing

Meditation for the week of September 28, 2008

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I suppose there have been times in history when the world has seemed as out of control as it does today. However for those of us who can only see things from the perspective of the last sixty to eighty years, we have never known a time when things have gone wrong like they have this summer. On Memorial day weekend a terrible tornado went through Parkersburg, Iowa, and continued East for at least sixty miles wrecking havoc and destruction. Parkersburg looked like a war zone and it all happened within a very few minutes. A few weeks later, we started to have the worst floods we have ever seen in the area. People compared the devastation to the destruction in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina destroyed that area. Then the current hurricane season started and Ike recently destroyed Galveston, Texas. In addition, we are now facing the biggest financial crisis since the great depression. The war in Iraq has become a military nightmare. Iran is gearing up to be a nuclear power. Russia is now becoming aggressive again. If natural disasters don’t destroy us, then Wall Street greed might. And if that doesn’t do us all in, war will.

For those who don’t believe in God and don’t believe in divine intervention, the present situation must seem hopeless. Many people do not want to bring children into the world as we now know it. Politics can’t bring us a solution. It is fairly obvious that neither Republicans or Democrats are going to be able find the necessary resources to fix the financial crisis without bankrupting our country. Neither Republicans or Democrats are going to be able to get Iran and Iraq to live together in peace with each other or with Israel. The kinds of problems that we have today will require divine intervention if they are going to be solved, and if there is no divine intervention available, then there is no hope.

Those of us who believe in God do not know how all these events are going to play out but we are reminded that God knew all about the year 2008 in an eternity past. He isn’t sitting on His throne wringing His hands because there is no solution. He is the solution. But we need to “pray without ceasing”. We are told to pray for our leaders by Paul in 1 Timothy 2:1-2. I am a person who would rather do something about a problem than pray about it. I confess my fault on this issue. It is not that I don’t pray, it is just that I have more confidence in my ability to do something about a problem than I do in the ability of prayer to do something about a problem.

Praying without ceasing probably doesn’t mean that we pray every moment of every day but it does mean that we should keep on praying even when it seems that praying is not helping. If we really prayed instead of just saying prayers we would be rejoicing and giving thanks instead of wringing our hands and staying awake nights because we can’t sleep. I am convinced of it.

Pray without ceasing. This is a simple but novel approach to all of our problems. Let’s do it.

Bruce Collins

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