I sat down to write this month's reflection and began by reading last month's reflection. Part of me wanted to just send that one again this month. I can't believe there have been more tragedies since that time. Last month we talked about the devastating floods in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico. Now we're in the middle of processing the Las Vegas shooting and in shock at the amount of families losing their homes and fleeing from the fires that are just a couple hours from me here in Northern California. The day I'm writing this there's an ominous haze of smoke from above that leaves me with a heavy sadness for all of the loss of life and homes and displaced families.
If your heart is as heavy as mine and you're beginning to wonder when all of this is going to end, I hope you'll join me in prayer. Yes. Prayer. I've seen a few comments on Facebook and TV questioning how helpful prayer is at a time like this, which makes me sad. When disaster strikes, there's a feeling of helplessness. You may be feeling anxiety or fear, quietly worrying to yourself, Am I next? In these times, we have to go within and pray.
Pray because there is power in prayer.
Pray because it's the only way to feel trusting when you're full of anxiety.
Pray because you'll hear how you are called to respond.
In prayer, you re-gain your center and remember God is in charge. You're able to re-prioritize where you're putting your energy. Are you putting your energy into things that create more anxiety or bring a sense of calm and trust? In the silence of your heart, you can feel safe to stop running after the outside things you may be chasing for a sense of calm but aren't going to help.
In prayer, you can begin to hear how to be a light in the world when there's too much darkness. Prayer isn't a passive act. In the midst of tragedy, how are you called to give? To serve? How are you called to share Christ's light to the immediate people around you so they don't give up hope? In the silence of your heart, you'll be reminded Christ's light will always shine through the dark. Most importantly you'll be reminded to share that light.
I'd love to hear your prayers... whether it's a full prayer that brings you comfort or a one-sentence prayer from your heart you'd like to share with us. Let's pray together... and ask together... "Lord, hear our prayer."