Last Sunday I led the people of our church in prayer for the people of Nepal. I thought they might need help in this regard. It’s difficult to know what to pray in such circumstances. There are a lot of questions left unanswered. Why do innocent people have to die? How does God fit into all this? As Christians, we need to be able to process these things through a biblical framework. And that’s not always easy. This is my attempt to make some sense of this disaster.
We are all aware of the terrible tragedy that the people of Nepal are suffering right now. We have seen the images on our TV screens and seen the faces. We feel their pain. Homes and whole villages have been destroyed, friends and family members lay dead – some under the rubble. Others lie injured in remote areas with still no sign of help. There is a shortage of food and water as well as medical supplies, blankets and clothes.
Sometimes, in these situations, we don’t know what to do. We can give: there are many good organizations that will channel your money to the places it’s most needed. But we can also pray. We have limited resources, but we have a God in heaven who is not limited by anything. The whole heaven and earth belongs to him. So let us come before him as a church and pray for the people of Nepal.
Our Father in heaven,
It’s hard, in this time of such tragic loss, to know what to pray for these precious people in Nepal. They are a people in great need Lord and we ask you would pour out your grace and mercy upon them. We thank you the swift response from many countries who are transporting food, blankets and water as well as medical personal and disaster response teams. Thank you for these individuals and their willingness to put their own lives at risk for others. Give them strength and endurance for their work. Undertake for them and protect them.
We pray for the believers, church planters and missionaries and who are right there on the ground. Lord, use your people in the midst of this tragedy. May they be a beacon of life and hope in the midst of the death and suffering. Give them opportunities to testify of your love, your faithfulness and your power. May they be great witnesses for you.
Lord, sometimes struggle to understand why such things happen in this life. Why tornados tear through townships, why tsunamis drown entire cities, why diseases and cancer snuffs out the lives of young and old or – as in the case of Nepal, why earthquakes topple buildings and entire villages crushing thousands of innocent lives to death. We are tempted, like Job to summon you to the courtroom of our sensibilities and demand answers. But we know we should not. For we will receive the same rebuke you gave to your servant –
“Shall a faultfinder content with the Almighty? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding”
Oh far be from it Lord, that we should find fault with you. We know that the Judge of the earth always does what is right. We know you are sovereign over all things, that you command the shaking of the earth and the rising of the sea, you give breath to all mankind, you number his days so that he shall not live past one of them. We tremble at your power and bow before your throne.
Lord, we are reminded at times like this, how fragile we really are. We know that in a moment the earth could open up before us or we could be crushed alive. We are not more deserving of firm ground any more than the people of Nepal. We too are flesh. And we know that if you treated us according to our sins, none of us could stand.
We are a people who have received mercy and grace – undeserved, unmerited, unconditional grace. You dealt tenderly with us, while we were deserving judgment. And judged your Son in our place. You crushed him and spared us. You killed him so that we might know life.
Lord, we long for the people of Nepal to experience that same grace. Deal tenderly with them Father. Woo them. Win them. Save them. Show them the radiance and beauty and glory of your Son even in the midst of death and darkness and pain.
In the midst of their shaking world may they be still and know that you are God.
We ask these things in Jesus’ merciful name. Amen.