Thursday, February 19, 2015

Prayer in a very real world...

This morning during our daily staff devotion time, I asked one of our older women what she would do if I were to tell her that she was about to have another baby. Her look of “you must be out of your cotton picking mind” brought peals of laughter from everyone…just exactly what I wanted. It was, of course, a set up for the story of Abram and Sarai. But when I got to the application question, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” the room suddenly became quiet. One of our clergy finally broke the silence to say that people had been praying for an end to the war in South Sudan – a war that has been raging on and off in some way or another since the late 1950’s – and they were concerned that the recent fragile peace agreement would not hold. Another woman then related what had happened just the night before in a town to the south of Gambela. Cattle raiders from across the border had come during the night and they had not only stolen cattle, but had also killed several people and had abducted three children, one of whom is a six-month old baby. No one was laughing now. I suggested we spend some time in prayer, lifting up the impossible to the God who is greater than the impossible. We didn’t need to understand the words being lifted up to the throne of grace…the tone and the voice said it all. I ended the time with a reading from Hebrews 11:13-16. Quite a day.

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