Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lk 13:1-5

John Piper has posted about "6 ways to react to the cyclone."


Father, when disaster strikes a land, you are in control. You control whether a bird lives or dies, and you control whether a cyclone forms or not. You have set the laws of the universe in place, so even meteorology is at your hand. May you be praised and glorified in good weather and in bad.

Father, you are a loving God, and I pray for all the people directly affected by this disaster. I pray that those people who are undoubtedly trapped, but alive, would be found and saved. I pray for those people who have lost members of their families; comfort them and let them know that you are in control. I pray for the communities wrecked by this storm. May your will be done in those communities and your name be honored.

Father, I pray that people everywhere would see this and know that literally, "There but by the grace of God, go I." Because, Jesus told us not to be surprised when disaster strikes some people. Instead, we should be surprised you have not killed us all. You bear patiently with the human race, which is at war with you. You give us time to come to repentance. Every one of us is a sinner; we have rejected you and fought against you. But, you sent your Son to take our place and bring us to you. May this cause people to see they cannot find security in any thing but you and that, even though we are utterly undeserving of your mercy, you offer mercy and more--you offer your grace and eternal life.

I pray that your people in Myanmar will be able to use this disaster to share your glory as they trust in you and find joy in you. May their neighbors see their faith and come to realize that you are a treasure and you offer eternal life--reward that cannot be destroyed by moths, fire, or even cyclones.

I pray that your rich church in the Western world would wake up to the luxury and consumerism that plagues our spiritual lives. Sometimes, we feel we are rich and in need of nothing; we don't need a savior. Other times, we feel we are poor and need to be rescued, but we look toward government or products to give us a future. When we feel rich, we too often ignore the billions of people who lack so much. When we feel poor, we lose sight of the glorious blessings we have been given by you. May we realize that while a cyclone or a tsunami may hit and kill thousands, every day people are dying from living in absolute poverty, without adequate nutrition and clean water. We are rich in the physical world, and to those who much has been given, much is required.

Father, I pray that the great aspects of economic development, including good hygiene and the simple ability to communicate news of impending weather, could spread across the world. As nations develop, these disaster are less deadly. Yet, corrupt governments, war and other results of sin keep so many people mired in poverty. I pray that the benefits of development will come to the rest of the world; but I also pray that as economic progress spreads, these nations will not suffer the same consumerist idolatry found in the West. And, since all idols are an attempt to replace you, nations will only reject idols if they accept you. So, ultimately, the need of the entire world is a need for you. Nothing else matters without you.

May the world come to know you through this disaster.

I ask all this in the name of Jesus, who suffered so much and now stands as a high priest who is able to sympathize with our needs. Amen.

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