by: Steve Fawcett
Welcome to day 20 of our 4 week prayer adventure.
You made it! This is day 20, the last day of these 4 week daily devotionals. Since we are not yet able to meet together in person, rather than just completely quit these devotionals, I will seek to put one out each week until we can meet again. Otherwise, be sure to watch our worship service as it is live streamed each Sunday at 10 am!
Col. 1:9 says: “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
The Bible wasn’t meant to be just read. It was meant to be prayed. Reading without praying is like eating without digesting. The nutrients aren’t absorbed the way they should be. The way you get the word into your heart, into your spirit is by praying it.
Some think of reading Scripture and prayer as very different endeavors. And everybody is different, some like to read the Scriptures more than pray and others enjoy prayer more. One Jewish rabbi said in the Talmud: “An hour of study is as an hour of prayer.” Thus, reading Scripture can be a form of prayer.
Many people don’t know where to begin when it comes to prayer. What do I say first? A great place to start is with Scripture. Start reading and you’ll eventually come to something you need to talk with God about. Prayer isn’t a monologue where we outline our agenda for God. Prayer is a dialogue. And when you pray the word you can pray with holy confidence because God’s word does not return void. Pray the Word! Also, as you pray, ask God to show you opportunities on how you can help others during these stressful times.
“I can imagine what the history books say: There was a global pandemic caused by a virus. The number of infected people grew daily. Officials recommended frequent hand-washing and quarantining of the sick. Several cities went so far as to ban public worship services and other public gatherings! In the end, the pandemic killed 50 million people, including 675,000 Americans. No, we are not describing the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, but rather what is commonly known as the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.
Chris Gehrz, a history professor at Bethel University, recently wrote about how churches and church leaders responded to that 1918 pandemic, as reported by local newspapers.
-Some pastors were creative and lead outdoor services, encouraged home worship and even reading sermons published in newspapers.
-The Daily Telegram, of Worchester, Massachusetts, reported on how Christians were responding. Women from three local churches were taking care of “epidemic orphans.” They not only gave food and clothing, but “[supplied] them with plenty of healthful recreation and a little systematized instruction, too.”
Let’s be reminded that this is not the first time churches have faced a major disruption of regular activities.
And just as history is judged in retrospect, how we respond to our current crisis not only gives witness to our faith, but also will be reported and evaluated by future generations. How do we want our response to be remembered?
Keep praying! Keep serving! Stay safe, we’ll be back together soon.