Looking through the news headlines this morning, you would be forgiven sensing a dark cloud of gloom hanging over you about the state of the world around us.
Headlines this morning document a suicide bomb at a wedding in Turkey, more civilians killed in Aleppo, injuries from protests in Kashmir, ongoing hardships in Gaza, conflict and hardship in Yemen … the list goes on.
They don’t mention the ongoing tragedies of conflict and power struggles on the African continent, the struggle to live day by day for so many across South East Asia, the ongoing and increasingly unresolved issue of refugees around the world …. yes, a depressing read indeed!
But to despair is to take God out of the equation. When we read the headlines and see the world’s problems, we see a world that is unaware of the God who created it and who loves the people He made in His image. A world that is becoming more and more divided and polarised over the question of religion, and moving further away from His ideals and values each year.
Yes … all of that is true. But there is also hope. Looking beyond the headlines, we hear of amazing testimonies of refugees finding hope and healing through Christ, of many Muslims encountering Jesus in dreams and visions during Ramadan, of a growing hunger in the hearts of people across all religions and nations to know the Truth which sets them free.
When we put God back in the equation, we can come to know His heart for this world, how He grieves with those who grieve, hurts with the hurting, heeds the call of the suffering, and asks us, as His hands and feet on this earth, to take up His call to reach out to those around us, wherever we are, with His love, grace, compassion and mercy.
And to heed His call to pray, a call that resounds through His Word, to humble ourselves and pray, to pray with faith, believing that He is able to do far more than we can ever ask or imagine.
Our God is in His Heaven, He is Lord of Heaven and earth, He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He will be exalted, and one day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Let us heed His call today to cry out for the nations of this world, to call upon His name, to humble ourselves, confess our sin and believe that He can and will heal our nation … and indeed all nations of this hurting world.
And lets use the news headlines as a starting place for our prayers today.
Psalm 46 vs 10: “‘Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”
1 Chronicles 7 vs 14: “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.“