In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
In a week like this one, where the skies are filled with smoke and the ash is drifting down persistently dusting everything in sight, I want to keep my own words few. So many have lost so much in the surrounding communities. My words will do little help the situation. I think that in the digital age we are in, we sometimes forget that we are not called to speak (or write) every thought, but to be still and to take time to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12). This is not to say that we aren’t also called to help with action, because we are. But if our actions come from places of fear or from misguided intentions, then the actions will not last long enough to really make a difference. True love isn’t shown by voicing trite phrases, incessant opinions and every thought that comes into our heads, but by being present and being prayerful. And better yet, being prayerful before we are present.
So, what will I share with you here this week? That has been the question bouncing around in my head all week. I decided that I want to share the words that do have the power to help in any situation.
Words that bring light and life, healing and comfort.
In the best of times, in the worst of times, and at all times, the most heart-changing thing I’ve learned to do is to pray God’s Word back to Him. This works especially well during the hardest days, when it can be hard to know what to pray or even how to pray.
When the loss seems so great, my words fail.
But His Word never fails.
So I find verses like Psalm 126:5-6
Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
And I pray:
Thank you, Lord, that you promise to turn my sorrow into joy. Thank You that you have redeemed each day. Cause me to be faithful to do the work you have set aside for me. Even if I go out today weeping, cause me to arrive home with shouts of joy and abundant life. Increase my faith for the joy to come. Amen.
Or I read verses like Isaiah 43 and John 16:33
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you…you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you. ..Fear not, for I am with you…”
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
And I pray:
Lord! My heart is afraid. Help my heart to remember Your redeeming love, Your promise of abundant life, Your presence with me. Thank You that You know me by name. I am not just part of the crowd to You. Thank You that I do not walk through these troubles alone, but You are right here with me. You say “when you walk through…” and “you will have trouble,” so You are not surprised by this trial. Help me to take heart! Help me to remember that You have overcome the world. Amen.
Or Romans 8:37-39 & Ephesians 3:14-19
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
And I pray:
You promise me, Lord, that through Your love, a love that conquered death, nothing can or will separate me from you. Thank you, Jesus, for this love, that is deeper and wider and broader than I can even comprehend. Help me know more of Your love. Thank you that nothing I do (life) or anything that is taken from me (death) can separate me from You. Thank You that nothing today or tomorrow can take Your promise of security from me. I am secure in You, Jesus. Root and ground me in Your love and cause me to live out life according to these truths. Amen.
The Bible contains the “words of eternal life”, (John 6:68). This Word is powerful enough to shift my heart focus from all that is lost, and instead focus on all God is. They help me to remember not just today, or tomorrow, but they help me-by Grace- to “stamp eternity on my eyeballs” and I would add, stamp eternity onto my heart.
May you find ways to pray from His Word this week.