Called to prayer in these troubling times

Published 12:16 pm Saturday, August 28, 2021

By Jan Miller Penton

The tragic events of recent days have captured the world’s attention. I think in some ways the stench of evil pouring through my television set as I watch the evening news causes me to see what is always there lurking in the shadows.

In our wealth we can forget the poverty of others. In our pleasant surroundings and comfortable homes we can forget the desperation of many around the world. The faces of the forgotten and helpless that our living rooms are inundated with these days have always been there.

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They are in America. There are lonely and forgotten people living under bridges or in camper trailers with no utilities. Why have these people gotten themselves in such dire straits we pompously say to ourselves with no real thought to the reality that circumstances could have placed us in very similar situations ourselves.

None are so blind as those who will not see, and I’m afraid that I have been blinded by complacency myself. I remember a time when I was a child that I prayed every night for some little one not to die of starvation. I always pictured in my mind some little person in Africa, and I don’t really know why except that God placed those thoughts in my heart because they were much too grown up for a little girl.

It has been a long time since I genuinely shed tears and fervently prayed for some little one far away, but the events of the past days in Afghanistan have caused me to shed many tears. The images of desperate people falling from planes or little ones lifted over barbed wire to relative safety have touched my heart.

But the thing is there are always people who desperately need our prayers, and in my selfishness I have become less and less focused on the needy in our world. Our Christian brothers and sisters are facing extreme persecution, and some have been martyred for their faith.

Fear has reached a fevered pitch throughout the world as the pandemic rages on, but human kindness has not been snuffed out. Many of the men and women who served in Afghanistan are working tirelessly to try to help their friends leave the country. Our military is always on the ready, and these brave men and women sacrifice daily to go wherever duty calls them.

I know many would complain about all sorts of things today, and maybe a day or two ago I would have joined them, but I realized something from all the heartache I have witnessed lately.

I was not saved at a young age so I could join the throng of complainers, but as a Christian I am called to prayer. I am called to help those in need however and whenever I can.

Today my prayers join many, many others as we pray for our nation, our world, and our Christian brothers and sisters facing things we can hardly imagine.