God Still Answers Our Prayers
Millions are crying out for healing and finding reason for hope, says the author of 'The Prayer of Jabez.'
The horror of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 is indelibly etched in the hearts and souls of all Americans. It's a calamity that none of us could have imagined only a short time ago.
These are times that strip away the places, feelings, routines, and assumptions that had seemed most real to us, and had been most often the measure of our wealth. We're left feeling impoverished, vulnerable, and perhaps abandoned by God. Feeling, in other words, utterly mortal.
These are times when we turn to prayer. And in that turning I find great hope. My friend Max Lucado wrote recently, "This is a different country than it was a week ago. We're not as self-centered as we were. We're not as self-reliant as we were. Hands are out. Knees are bent. This is not normal. And I have to ask the question, `Do we want to go back to normal?' Perhaps the best response to this tragedy is to refuse to go back to normal."
I agree with Max. In fact, these are times when "normal" living and real prayer flourish best. Each time we sing "God Bless America," the nation is crying out for God's blessings and favor and help. Though we might wish them to be, God's blessings are not an insurance policy against the sufferings and tragedies that exist in our fallen world. The Apostle Peter advised, "Do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;" (I Peter 4:12)
But the experience of such pain doesn't mean we aren't also able to experience God's blessings. When we're in the midst of these sufferings, our Heavenly Father longs to pour out His supernatural favor on all who are willing to ask. If ever people from all walks of life sense a need for divine aid and blessing, it is now.
For Christians who are sensing a new readiness to live out their faith, this is a most promising moment. By God's grace and power, now is the time to step up to a larger life of ministry and impact for eternity. Jesus' passion was that His disciples would bless the whole world--people of every race and creed and circumstance. Our passion can be for nothing less.