"The Lord's prayer" is a good prayer for us to be praying regularly or help us pray, as Jesus taught us. It is comprehensive for us as God's children, and it concerns the entire world.
When we look at the recent typhoon in Myanmar and earthquake in China, along with other tribulations this world encounters, we can't help but long for God in Jesus to finally come and make all things right and new. For Christians, this is our hope, fulfilled in the resurrection of all things in Jesus.
I have to admit that it's so easy for me to fail to see beyond my own struggles and problems, and the problems of those around me. It's hard to see beyond that, but we're to have a heart for everyone, yes everyone in this world, even for enemies. And we're to be in prayer and do what we can as we're led to do.
If our faith does not lead us to have a heart and longing for the redemption of this world, of the earth and all creation, then it is not the full-orbed Christian faith. And too often Christian faith has been little concerned over this, though rightfully believing that God in Jesus is Lord over all, and we can rest assured in that, even as we don't have all the answers. But that should lead us to a faith that acts, in listening, prayer and doing.
For me this means some disciplined listening both to NPR and the BBC. I want to understand what's going on in the world, in places on the news and out of the way places which tend to be neglected.
Also it is good to find organizations which are doing good around the world to help great needs in the name of Jesus such as World Vision and Compassion International. As well as to find what one's own denomination is doing.
In all of this we continue to pray for God's kingdom to come even into this present world and instead of lamenting over what we cannot do, we seek to do and give something towards the great need that is out there as it is on our heart to do so.
I know it is natural to just be overwhelmed by it all. But I believe this is one aspect of our calling in Jesus. That we are to have a heart for the world. For the gospel to go forth and for God's kingdom to come into the hard places in anticipation of the day when God makes all things right and new in Jesus, this work beginning even now in this world in Jesus.
What thought would you like to add to here that can help us? Or what do you think about this?
tomorrow: chapter 2, "Christmas Coal - shame" from L.L. Barkat's book, Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places.