We are always hearing bad news. Bad things happen to people around us and we hear of tragedies taking place in every corner of the world. I know, for me, I’ve found my heart to be particularly alert to this suffering over the last month. I’ve felt more of the weight of the endless suffering of America’s gun violence and the intractability of their gun culture. I’ve felt sorrow from the war in Ukraine and the violence of strong-men everywhere to bring suffering to the innocent in pursuit of their ambitions. Closer to home, I’ve listened with a heavy heart to stories of people in our nation and our community who have lost connection and lost hope, succumbing to the burden of isolation and loneliness. I’ve felt the desperate need for prayer but also the feeling “Are our prayers enough? Do our prayers make a difference in such a troubled world?”
I think sometimes we can feel like Habakkuk: “How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?” (Hab 1:2).
But, of course, we do pray with hope — great hope! Yes, the darkness of night can seem all encompassing and overwhelming, but day always follows night, and “joy comes with the morning.” (Ps 30:5). So my encouragement to you all is pray! Pray regularly and often. When you hear bad news, take a moment to mention it to God. When your heart is heavy with concern for a person or worry about their situation, tell God about it. Never give up praying for one another. Remember, “The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” (Lam 3:25–26).