I enjoy praying on a global scale. I like to believe I can be part of the way that God transforms and renews the World through my prayers. But watching the news right now, like many people, I am struggling to pray.
I am struggling because I am overwhelmed by the horror.
I am struggling because I don’t know what to hope for.
I am struggling because I feel almost guilty that I am living life as normal whilst so many suffer.
So how do I pray? How do I make sure I am not overcome by it all and continue to pray effectively. I am still trying to answer those questions but here are four things I have found helpful so far:
1. Let your tears be prayers. If all you can do is cry or sigh or groan or scream or punch a wall…do it prayerfully – in that moment where words fail – let your heart be saying ‘God please fix this’.
2. Find hope. A christian without hope is an oxymoron but hope for these catastrophic events can be hard to muster. Seek it out. Find the stories of hope, the Israeli – Palestinian couples posting photos on Facebook, the Iraqi Muslims standing with Iraqi Christians, the people who have survived Ebola against the odds. Hope will fuel your prayers.
3. Pray for the persecutors. One of the heroes of our faith was once out for the heads of Christians. Then he met Jesus. The quickest way for the crisis in Iraq to end is if ISIS members experience revival and find they cannot continue to do what they are doing. That’s a huge prayer, but daring to pray it, conquering hate with love, has been the most energising prayer I have found.
4. Pray often. Don’t wait till you have time to get on your knees. Be praying as you read the paper and watch the news. That way hopelessness doesn’t get to creep in unnoticed.
I would love to hear what’s helping others to pray for everything that’s going on in the World right now. Comment away!