2 June 2020

We are in a time of crisis, and the churches are again burning as the riots continue. There have been local demonstrations in solidarity. I am left without much to add to the comments of others.

In this time, we are left feeling we are in a storm. There is nothing to cling to but Christ: all the things that we thought were secure are being taken from us [1] and we lose words. But this is why God hears our groans.

At times our distress is our prayer. We are in too much discomfort to do otherwise. I need to pray more: for my friends who are in the USA, for somebody to bring this hysterical reaction and counter reaction to an end, and that we may live a godly, sober and quiet life without threats from tyrants within or without our nations.

But it feels overwhelming. Paradoxically, the number of people who are finding peace in this new (engineered) crisis is increasing day by day.

Romans 8:26-27

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

When we are in this, the bleak thoughts will be there. You will think you have not done a good thing ever. That your worship is false, and that your faith a fraud. But we do not build our faith on our emotions [2]. We need to know that God will allow us to endure, and that there will be an end to this trial, and its associated temptations, the greatest of all will be despair[3].

It is in these times that you pray without understanding, and that is perfectly acceptable. God knows you need his comfort, and the words you use don’t matter. The number of times I’ve been angry to the point of violence and graphic, using blunt, crude, foul terms about the situation to God is more than the number of times I have produced nice and pretty prayers.

Yes I need to pray more.

Because this is a time of crisis.

And God knows that my prayers will not be coherent. He does not care, as I do not care when Kea seeks for the words to describe the concerns on her heart. It does not have to be perfect. It does have to not be a lie. For in saying and listening, we find resolution in this life.

Those who have had more pain than I — and I have had my fair share, usually my fault — tell me that in this kind of prayer there is not only peace, but the development of a strength. God is building us, by his Spirit. We know not for, My prayer is that in this crisis we may be the voice that stops people demanding apologies and validation and start them realizing that they also need to beg forgiveness.

Let us use this time. It is too precious to waste.

  1. Locally, we are losing a thousand jobs a week. This is rocking the foundations of family after family. The local bike shop has sold out of almost every reasonably priced bike (they have some electric mountain bikes that cost the same as a used car left) because people can’t pay for petrol. Shops are running 60% off sales, in what would normally be the peak of the season. But we are not dying in riots. People in the USA are in the big cities — so stay away from crowds.

  2. The Churchian music industry is full of people who could not make it in secular music so go Christian because its a living. Gunner Q is correct: a number of them are preacher’s kids. Hillsong (despite Gunner’s seething) has as one if its main writers Brooke Fraser, who was a pop star in NZ before converting, and now raises kids and leads worship. Much better to find people like that.

  3. Or “Give up. There is no future. Return to the sin that entrapped you and accept that pleasure, and not turn again to Christ. That road is hard. Converge. The road to perdition is smooth and easy”

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John Wilder
1 year ago

Rule 1. Stay away from crowds. Nice to not have to worry about that too much here in Modern Mayberry.