Thursday, January 06, 2005

Praying about employment

For some, the current economy is challenging. Here’s a response to a reader whose job was eliminated through a work force reduction. This person is having difficulty finding a new career and coping with the situation.

Dear Friend:
Let’s look at John 14:1-3. Here it says basically, don't be afraid, God has prepared a place for you, there are lots of mansions. I really appreciate the lots of mansions part. This indicates that there is not just one right job or career for us. There are lots of places where we can be a blessing and can be blessed. To see these many opportunities we might have to change our thought, change our ideas of what we should be doing, change our ideas of what we should be paid, change our location, change our industry, change our attitude. But all this really means is to be humble. Those who are humble are always in demand. Humility is a very attractive quality. Let's also think of how the disciples were willing to change. They left their old ways of thinking and jobs, and followed Jesus. They changed careers, took lower pay, traveled, changed locations, were rejected, but kept pursuing the spiritual idea. They found plenty of employment. There is always a demand for inspired insights and doing good.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Where was God during the tsunami?

From a Reader:
I have a question. How do you explain the presence of God in this terrible event in India? I know that God is with the survivors and the people that perished did not really perish, they are going on. I just don't understand how God created a perfect world and exists everywhere for the protection of His children and now 100,000 of His children are gone.

Dear Reader:

First of all, what is most needed at the moment is prayer for the survivors. Your prayer, my prayer is tangibly felt and helps them feel hope in the midst of disaster, courage when they feel discouraged, strength when they need it most. When you think of this, pray without ceasing that they feel God's power with them, God's safety, wisdom and strength. As a Christian in the middle of an emergency case, you can't afford to indulge in “why” questions. You've got to jump right in with all your confidence, conviction and radical commitment to support the survivors. Take one thought, one spiritual quality that speaks to you and if nothing else use petitionary prayer to ask God that every individual feel that quality. We are holding up their hands like Aaron and Hur held up Moses' hands in the midst of the battle in Ex. 17:12.

You've got to come at this as an active disciple willing to pray and help. Later after the emergency, you can play the scholar and ask the academic questions. Sometimes in the act of being a disciple, the academic questions are answered.

Hebrews 4:1

Tsunami survivors need rest. I was praying about women and children, fathers and mothers being able to rest. And so I went to the resting chapter in the Bible - Hebrews 4.

Some words have puzzled me in KJV. So I did some word study, and here's the result.

"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it."

Fear means revere. Promise is also message, message from God. Being left is abandon. His rest is one's own rest. I always thought it meant God's rest ie kingdom of heaven. But the words say my own rest, right now, right where I am. That doesn't preclude the kingdom of heaven. Coming short of it is to fail, to come late, suffer need. What I like about that is that we only SEEM to fail. God keeps giving us opportunities to succeed. With God's mercy, we will enter into our rest, eventually all will be saved. So to me this verse means--let us revere God. And if we truly love God, we will enter into our own rest without stress. Hold onto your confidence in God and don't abandon it. Then you will be peaceful, safe and healed. If we forget to love God, abandon our faith, we won't feel as if we're resting. It's stressful to feel we're fighting on our own. But we only think we're on our own. As soon as one wakes up to realize the promise of God's power and saving grace, we're on our way to resting in Him/Her.

To be cont.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami prayer

Action. It's all about taking action. Sending money, supplies, food, generators...but what about sending prayers? And does a prayer sent without a stamp or email, without knowing a name or seeing a face help?

Oh yes. My step-son is an unbeliever. He sports a devil tattoo on his calf, shocking his dad as much as me. But he's an adult. What can you do with a permanent tattoo. But when he went into surgery a few years ago and we promised to pray, he felt it. His friends were praying. His ex-wife prayed. And here this unbeliever felt the power of those prayers. It was a force he could feel. He felt the power of those prayers, and he said so. He acknowledged to everyone that he tangibly felt the power of prayer, and thanked everyone for praying.

The survivors of this tsunami need their hands upheld. Who can do it alone? It's not just food and water that prevents disease. It's prayer.

So here's a prayer to start. It's not just the words. It's the spirit of Christ speaking through your heart to your head and into the atmosphere of life. Zipping through the airwaves of Spirit.

"God give them courage and strength to face the coming day. Close their eyes to tragedy and open them to signs of hope. Give them a sign of good. A word of encouragement. A moment of comfort. An arm of love. Keep each one safe and immune from disease. Immunize each one with Your holy presence. Give each one a sense of purpose and let not the devil of discouragement be heard today. Take away the guilt. Let no survivor rue the day he/she was born or survived. Let each survivor give thanks for his/her life to You. Take away all guilt of surviving and let it never enter their mind again. Give them peace tonight. Peace to sleep without fear. A place to sleep which is safe and secure. God be with their moments. God be with their day. God fill their night with the light of Christ."