My heart awakens the deep places within me. Never mind the foggy darkness outside my window. The heart never knows the time on a clock, only the times and seasons catch its attention. When it is awake, I pay attention no matter what the clock says. So, I am up, on my knees in the wee hours. My heart is crying out and my prayers are rising up. God’s heart is stirring for the ALL the nations, not just mine. Since our hearts are united, mine brings my friends from many nations to the surface of my mind. My heart cries out for them.
Oh Lord, What will they do? Many have to walk miles for water. Some of my friends don’t have power, or anything to eat besides beans and rice. There is no soap. There has never been toilet paper…or a toilet for that matter, only a hole in the ground. There isn’t a clinic, much less a hospital. They have already been traumatized by multiple wars, they are familiar with running for their lives, but this pandemic will get them where they stand. This has the potential to wipe them out, Lord.
And what of the orphans? How will they socially distance? They live all together. They need one another, and the older women who care for them. What if something happens to one of them? Oh God, please do not allow the orphans to be re-orphaned. Is that even possible, is it even real word, Lord? Surely, you can do something for them.
The widows are already alone, who will help them in this crisis? They hobble out in public to get their supplies. They walk miles to market, on their own in the crowd. They are compromised. Without water, or a sanitary environment, what will happen to them? God, how will they survive?
Those who work in the dump, with their children. What are they to do? Is the garbage even safe? Does this disease travel in the trash of its victims? They have no way to get to what little healthcare there is. Only a few ventilators in their country. If the virus comes to the dump, or the slums, will any of them survive?
The little girls who are trafficked would love nothing more than to socially distance themselves, but they are not given the option, Lord. They are at risk. There is no hand washing, or 6 feet apart for them. What will they do? If they get sick they will be thrown away and left to die alone. Please God, don’t let them be alone. The ones who give them the disease will carry it to each room they enter. Stop them, I beg you to stop them.
What about the ones in the villages without access to healthcare? What will they do if the virus comes to their town? The elderly are already so weathered and worn. Their children take care of them, their grandchildren sit at their feet. All the family in one hut, or hovel, or shack. What of these families? How will they survive?
Oh God, my tears are yours. Your heart is breaking. I feel it. For your children. For all of us. Help us to be your hands and feet. Show us how to do so, with wisdom, and stealth. Give us ways to express your heart to others. Help us to represent your love well.
I sit here in my house, with my refrigerator full of food. I have water in multiple places and plenty of soap. I have both toilet paper and a toilet. I have a car to take me to get medicine when I need it. I am privileged even when there is a crisis. I cannot even understand what I have been given and I assume I will always have it. I complain about the inconvenience of this virus, but for me that is all it is, an inconvenience. A laying down of my life for a few days. Why is that so hard? Forgive me Lord, for my nonchalance. Forgive me for not seeing beyond my own nose. Give me words to pray. Help me be your light, not add to the darkness.
Please, Lord be with my friends all over the world. Surround them with your presence. Give them hope and protect them. Send your angels to guard them. So many of them trust you much more than I do. They know what it means to trust out of necessity. It is how they have lived this long in harsh environments. I pray for those who don’t know that trust, yet. I pray they will find it among those around them who are holding onto your hand. I pray that fear would not overtake them, that hope would rise up. That your light would be shining for all to see. Even while I feel impending disaster for them and their communities and my heart is feeling the urgent need to pray for them all…for us all…I stand on your hope, your light, your breath, and your love.
Sometimes I feel the pain so deeply I have no words. The trauma this virus will cause is overwhelming. I pray it will be avoided. Please God help. Stop the spread. Stop the plan of the enemy to wipe out our very breath. Give us your life. Breathe on us. Stand with us and give us the mind of Christ, with wisdom and revelation of how to handle this crisis. Help us to remember we are not fighting flesh and blood, but this is a spiritual battle. Give us the power to fight. Wake us in the night to cover one another in prayer.
Guide the ones you have put in authority. Give the experts your mind to heal this disease. Inspire in them new ways to combat it. Bring unity to them. Help them to share across borders to bring an end to this virus. Lord, you are not petty, and you do not hold back your love, ever. You do not blame or accuse. You are unconditional…without condition…you love everyone. Every nation. Every one of us you created. Help us to be like you in this. Help us to reach out across aisles and oceans.
It is now that we need you most. It is now that we turn to you. It is now that I ask for my friends to be spared, for my family to be safe, and for my fellowship with you to be strong. Ultimately, you are in control, you have the whole world in your hands. You know the beginning and the end. We are in the middle of the unknown, help us to listen for your voice. Not the voice of division, not the voice of fear, not the voice of depression, not the voice of self-pity, not the voice of confusion, not the voice of panic, not any of the voices clamoring for our attention. Help us to hear, the still small voice that says this is the way, walk in it.
8 thoughts on “Heart for the Nations”
I have had very similar feelings. Community is such a way of life in so many parts of the world. So much more than here. My friend in Tanzania wrote and said you have seen how Africans travel in the matatus (vans) that are overflowing with people. Social distancing is not even feasible. Also, at Compassion International where I now work, all the centers have been closed so those most vulnerable are not getting meals or able to come to a safe place everyday. The workers are trying to get supplies to those that need it most but in a Compassion center that has 450 children this is very limited. So we must pray and trust God to meet their needs and bring all of us out of this.
Amen. At this point it is about prayer and trust. We pulled 570 missionaries home. So hard to leave, but if they stayed and somehow spread it to one of those populations it would be horrible. No easy answers.
Thx, Michelle. – and my deep concern is for the Atlanta homeless with no place in which to quarantine and our Atlanta trafficked girls. – beyond comprehension. You write such powerful prayers, a model. – thank you
You are welcome…it is hard for everyone, but for people without homes or other hard circumstances it is worse. Prayer is our only help…but it is a powerful thing.
Your words are my prayer, too.
Thanks Robin. 2 or more…
Thanks for writing these.
Thanks for reading them.