”Pray for Us”

I’m overwhelmed and my words feel as if they are tumbling out and sliding off my keyboard. Another multiple-victim shooting in our country? Earlier today the horrors unfolded in San Bernardino, Calif., where I lived for more than a decade post-college. Last Friday just about eight miles from my home in Colorado, another mass shooting ripped into our collective psyche. “Close to home” reaches a deeper meaning for me.

prayer - candle in handsThe words brave and resilient are increasingly intermingled in news reports and interviews with government and community leaders. Now is not the time for me to share my opinions on these tragedies in America and around the world. Instead, I am dedicating this brief message to ask for us to pause and pray. Would you join me in praying right now for all the people affected by these senseless murders? One of the women in today’s shootings sent a text to her father: “Pray for us.”

Her three short, tangible words remind us to put our busyness on hold for even just 20 seconds and ask for healing and help for those injured and those traumatized by these merciless shootings. May the grieving loved ones right now sense the closeness of the “God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3) and may we never let these troubled acts become normal to us.

Bless you for blessing countless others through your heartfelt prayers.

Brave and Resilient Tip #126: Your prayers matter!

Let’s Talk

 “Life is so hard . . . . ”

 

Q. Can you talk about how to walk in courage when life is so hard?

A. Let’s Talk! Life is hard. Wildfires. Stocks down. Foreclosures. Government scandals. Tornadoes. Businesses closings. Physical challenges. We each have a mental list of countless things that are not as they “should” be . . . just this week alone.

 So, how do we do life? I have hit on this theme here and there, but may I speak of it again? “Expectations” (how life SHOULD be) is a killer. Hard things in life almost always surprise us because there is such a deep expectation that life is going to be all good. Conversely, we aren’t really to walk around only expecting bad things to happen. How then do we walk this path? I have been pondering my answer to you for days. I’ve studied Numbers in the Old Testament all week, watching the Israelites grumble and complain, but not look to God. It is my grandchildren who have supplied the best example for me to give you concerning a right response to life being hard. Below is an e-mail from my daughter, who lives just one mile away from the voluntary evacuation line for the wildfires in Colorado Springs – and she tells of her three children’s response. Those darling children are ages 5 and twins that are 3. Listen in!

The kids are in Vacation Bible School all week, which has been a wonderful distraction. They are excited to be singing about ”don’t worry about anything but instead pray about everything.” It’s very moving. They are learning so much as this is going on and we have talked about what it means for there to be fires and for us to pray for God’s protection. Today they are collecting Gatorade, water, and snacks for the firefighters so they are learning to put their faith into action.

What a lesson to us! These little ones know there is trouble all around them, but they are praying for God’s help, provision, and protection. God longed for the folks in Numbers to turn to Him. Children get it most of the time. And they are not only praying but giving. That about sums it up: we look up.

 

For Deeper Reflection

Philippians 4: 6-7  “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything.” (NLT)

Numbers 14: 11  “. . . How long will this people spurn Me and how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?” (NAS)

Matthew 18: 3-4 and Matthew 19:13-14 – Examples of His love for children and understanding of Him

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

 

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com.