Friday, December 13, 2013

Tragedy: What To Pray When You Don't Know What To Pray.

Last night as I laid in bed my body was in Sawmills, NC but my heart and my mind were 9,900 miles away in Pontianak, Indonesia.  A godly husband/father/brother/son/friend was being laid to rest in a funeral service after his sudden passing on Tuesday.  As I've tried to work through my own grief and yet continue to pray and encourage others to pray for the family it has been a struggle to know what to pray.  The pain in our hearts often confuses the mind as to what would be best to pray.  One good aspect of a relationship with God is that we are told in the Bible that when we do not know what to pray that the Holy Spirit helps us out in making our petitions to God.  It says in Romans 8:26, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express " (NIV).  God in His infinite grace provides what we need, when we need it.

Often times when there is a death or some other type of tragedy we want to swoop in like a superhero and save the day.  We want to have just the right words or do just the right things to help alleviate the pain our friends or family are going through.  Rather than saying something when silence would be better (trust me I've been there!), the best thing we can do is just be present.  Just be with those that are hurting.  Whether we say anything or not our presence speaks volumes more than our words.  It's been said that when all is said and done after a death or tragedy that what is remembered aren't the words spoken but your presence.

But what if we can't be present?  What if we can't jump on a plane and fly to Indonesia, New York, California or some other destination that is beyond our reach.  What then?  We pray.  We pray with earnest.  We pray like we've never prayed before.  Whether we know what to pray or not, we pray.  God can do immeasurably more good through His presence in the life of our loved ones than we could ever do.  God's comfort, peace, grace and love will minister to the heart of the individual in much deeper ways than we could imagine.  When you can't be there and you don't know what to pray, just ask God to be there.  Ask Him to love on them for you.  Ask Him to give them His peace that goes beyond our understanding (Philippians 4:7).  Just ask Him to be there.

A Special Thanks:
I want to thank all those who have been praying for the Poarch family.  We received word this morning (Friday) that the funeral for James was amazing.  I am confident that this was because of the prayers of thousands of people around the world praying for this family.  We ask that you continue to keep Nicky, Emily, Luke & Samantha in your prayers as they move forward.  They will be returning to the US at some point in the near future.  If you are interested in giving financially towards the family and the unexpected costs of returning to the US you can do so by visiting the link below.  Flights from Indonesia are very expensive and every dollar helps.  Visit to give. 

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