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Looking out to our world (1)

“As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”

1 Kings 17: 12

In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.

2 Corinthians 8: 3

When we and those close to us are in crisis, this is the time to look outwards – to know that God calls us to care for those who are just like us, but born into circumstances where they do not have access to good health services, essential medicines, plentiful food and adequate infrastructure. When Elijah was hungry and at the end of his strength, God sent him to a widow who had no food in the house at all. When the Macedonians were facing extreme difficulties, God called them to care for those outside their congregation. God’s kingdom is one of effectiveness.

It turns the wisdom of the world on its head. When we want to hunker down and focus on preserving ourselves and our families, when we feel we have no resources of energy or love left, he calls us to care for our brothers and sisters in parts of the world which we cannot see.

As we pray together, we face outwards into the dark and wave torches of fire at the prowling wolf that seeks to destroy. Our prayer and declaration of his Word force the wolf back into the darkness. As more join together in prayer, knowing we have the authority of the sovereign God, we form a bigger circle of fire and drive back the darkness.

As you pray now, imagine walking with your Father God, looking down on our turbulent world. Listen to and share his concern for the world. Picture him sending Jesus into the midst.

Father of love, we feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to pray. Give us your love and strength to reach out beyond our own family and community and to love your world. Make your strength perfect in our weakness. As we wait on you now, show me your heart and break my heart for what breaks yours.

Listen to the Father now and ask him to highlight a country or community outside our own and to bring to mind a verse, picture or phrase to pray over them now.

 

Mark Searle, 15/04/2020