This has been a chaotic week for the world. As I talked with friends about how the church should respond and witnessed again the vitriol of online discussions, even among Christians, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of helplessness. Lord, what can we do?
There’s not much I can offer in the way of policy suggestions, but what I think we must do as the church in a time of crisis such as this is to pray, not only for the world, but also that the church would have the mind of Christ.
Here’s a short prayer adapted from The Valley of Vision for the church:
Father of Jesus,
Dawn returns, but without thy light within no outward light can profit;
Give us the saving lamp of thy Spirit that we may see thee, the God of our salvation, the delight of our souls, rejoicing over us in love.
We commend our hearts to thy watchful care, for we know its treachery and power;
Guard its every portal from the wily enemy,
Give us quick discernment of his deadly arts,
Help us to recognize his bold disguise as an angel of light, and bid him begone.
May our words and works allure others to the highest walks of faith and love!
May loiterers be quickened to greater diligence by our example!
May worldlings be won to delight in acquaintance with thee!
May the timid and irresolute be warned of coming doom by our zeal for Jesus!
Cause us to be a mirror of thy grace, to show others the joy of thy service,
May our lips be well-tuned cymbals sounding thy praise,
Let a halo of heavenly-mindedness sparkle around us and a lamp of kindness sunbeam our path.
Teach us the happy art of attending to things temporal with minds intent on things eternal.
Send us forth to have compassion on the ignorant and miserable.
Help us to walk as Jesus walked, our only Savior and perfect model, his mind our inward guest, his meekness our covering garb.
Let our happy place be amongst the poor in spirit, our delight the gentle ranks of the meek.
Let us always esteem others better than ourselves, and find in true humility an heirdom to two worlds.
- Christlikeness, The Valley of Vision
Much has already been said regarding the terrorist attacks and the refugee crisis. There’s not much I could add except, maranatha.
We should pray for those in France, Lebanon, Nigeria, and around the world who are afflicted, but also for the church. I fear that the church this past week has forgotten her call to be a lamp on a lampstand shining brightly the light of Christ. Instead, we’ve chosen the comfort of hiding under a basket, afraid that the world’s ills will blow out this lamp.