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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Let’s pray for Haiti at halftime…

The numbers look like…  numbers, and nothing more. 100,000 is a symbol, cold and distant. Pictures and videos taken in Haiti this week help us put human faces to the dark tragedy. But even the best photojournalist cannot relay the full scope of this catastrophe.  Today I will divert my attention from the “real world” and watch at least part of the NFL playoff game, Vikings vs. Cowboys.  The game will be played in a stadium filled with 50,000 fans.  I’ve been in that stadium and I know what 50,000 “feels” like.  That number times two is now the low-end estimate of lives lost in the Haiti earthquake.  When I watch the game today, I will use it as a trigger to pause and pray for the victims and their families. If you watch football today, I challenge you to do the same, and so send some REAL relief to the scene.

Only God knows the full scope of this dark day in the Caribbean, and only God knows what to do. He knows, and he cares.  We sometimes call natural disasters, “acts of God.” But God does not cause such disaster.  The world he’s created is a dangerous place. These things “happen.”  Understanding God’s role here is a mystery I cannot fathom.  What we do know is that God invites us to invite him to come at such moments and heal, and strengthen, and restore. That much we can know, though we may not understand much of anything of how, or why. When we pray for a situation like this I think it’s best to resist the temptation to ask, “why?” and instead simply ask…

Here’s one suggested prayer: Join me at halftime and pray for the victims in Haiti.

“God, be with the families who have suffered in Haiti earthquake.  Be with the relief workers struggling to minimize the disaster.  The with the children who are frightened and confused.  This is not a good situation; but you promise to turn every situation to some good when you are invited to do so.  Sitting safely at a distance it is easy for us to hide from his pain.  But in this prayer we choose to do the thing that makes the most difference – we pray and ask for your intervention.  Do a miracle – 100,000 miracles – today in the ravaged island of Haiti.  In Jesus…”

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