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When Crisis Strikes

By Mary Craig

When crisis strikes—situations beyond the bounds of human control but not beyond God’s—we are to intercede for God’s power and protection. Paul encouraged prayer for all the saints (Ephesians 6.18), that we stand firm against the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6.10-17).

When crisis strikes, we think of healing and restoration, desiring the pain to go away, the situation to return to normal, to "fix it." We are tempted to question, to doubt the power of God, to drift from faith. In these times, we need "a real God."

Here are some ideas:

  1. Pray for faith. Unbelievers need to come to faith and believers need their faith strengthened. Pray prayers related to increasing faith. Psalm 13 is also good.
  2. Pray for the expression of faith. Pray prayers related to trusting in times of trial and temptation, prayers related to boldness, confidence in Christ, spiritual warfare.
  3. Pray that the believers would be a testimony to others during the crisis, that God would bring good out of evil and glory to His Name and Presence. Prayers dealing with assurance of faith, for ambassadors of Christ, calling on the Name of the Lord, praying against evil, prayers for the heart, mind, speech, grace, purity, and other "character" prayers, etc. are good.
  4. Pray for the support of the Christian community, family, and persons involved, for unity. Prayers for the family, for unity, for mercy are good. Ephesians 4, portions of James and 1st Peter and 2nd Peter.
  5. Pray for what God would have you to do beyond interceding, and for their obedience and yours to His heart, mind, and will.
  6. Consider letting the person(s) know you are praying. Use the word "praying" and not "thinking." Ask permission to pray and how you might pray for them. On a recent mission trip to the Mediterranean, the crisis tornado hit in Oklahoma. A woman at our ship table had her mother in that tornado and felt far away without communication. I asked permission to pray right there at the dinner table for specific things concerning her and her husband in the situation. Later, as she was able to reach her family in Oklahoma, find her mother "okay," and see God answer prayers, it became a testimony and an "open door" for further talks about Christ and salvation.
  7. Remember, the objective is not to emphasize that "prayer works," for that is to put the emphasis on humans, on our ability and progress in the art of praying. Rather, the emphasis should be that "God works," for that is to give Him the glory and sovereignty in the affairs of human history, panoramic and particular.
  8. Psalm 23, Psalm 91

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