Thursday, October 1, 2009

When the World Weeps - Part 3

When tsunami images flooded the world the morning after Christmas 2004, my thoughts turned to Pia, not because her family was swept away, but because the faces, buildings and lives of those who were looked just like those of my friend. Listening to prayers for the multitudes, I realized that people in my world want to help, but we often don’t know how to pray for people in those worlds. Knowing Pia reveals how to pray for many women of the world in disastrous times. I will use "she," because it's very personal for me and for my dear friend.

Pray She will Know Provision for her Needs

Physical Needs - Though she may have had little, she will experience greater physical need.

  • Pray that government will make supplies available and transportation will function for delivery. Ask that officials will plan wisely to make supplies available.
  • Pray for adequate food, water, shelter, and medicine. Rice and beans are basic, but pray that she will also have vegetables and meat and that her water will be clean.
  • Pray that she will not suffer side effects from medicine.
  • Pray that her shelter will be sufficient to guard from harmful insects and animals. (Rats, snakes in water)
  • Pray that she will have access to basic supplies.

Social Needs - Women around the world see themselves as part of their families, so family needs are their concern. Culture often dictates extended family group significance.

  • Pray for individual women and their family groups.
  • Pray that she will receive information about her family. Where communication was limited to begin with, information can be scant and unreliable.
  • Pray that God will provide a group for her to be with. Few cultures are as solitary as the U.S.; a group of companions is essential for support, offering some sense of normalcy and security.
  • Pray for her to have a church to be with. For believing women, this will be her lifeline. For those yet to believe, it could be her way to salvation.

Emotional Needs - These needs are shared by women of all cultures in times of distress.

  • Pray for her strength of spirit, for her ability to grieve, and for healing from losses.

Pray She Will Know Protection in her Life

Safety is a different concern in less developed cultures than in some areas of the West. Poverty breeds corruption on all levels, and calamity opens doors for the wicked to take advantage of the weak.

  • Pray for safety from dangers of health. Disease often follows in the wake of disaster, and destroyed infrastructure makes the dispensing of medicines, medical care, and basic provisions a challenge.
  • Pray that she and her family will be protected from disease and will have medicine each day for injuries or illnesses.
  • Pray for safety from dangers of humanity. As people come into a disaster area to offer assistance, corruption has potential to take advantage of the helpless. Extended family members can even take advantage of their own in an effort to survive. Abuse becomes a danger within families under disaster pressure and is more acceptable in certain cultures.

Pray She Will Know the Presence of the True God

When women know God’s presence, they are able to face circumstances with peace and perseverance. In describing the calamity experienced by Israel, God knew that, “In their misery they will earnestly seek Me,” Hosea 5:15.

  • Pray that she will seek Him. Every culture offers false gods, and many women appeal to man-made gods made during distress. Cry out to God, asking Him to prompt women around the world to seek the True God in their misery.
  • Pray that she will see His power in the midst of her distress. Ask that she will have her needs met, be protected, see rescue and hear of mercy, so she will see God’s power in her darkest hour.
  • Pray that she will know His peace in the midst of panic. This must be divine provision, and God wants to grant this to those who look to Him. Her peace will minister to her family and others around her.
  • Pray that she will reflect Him to others. As she demonstrates peace, she will reflect His nature and draw others to Him, though their world is in upheaval. It will be a peace that passes all understanding of those around her.

Since I started this series, we've heard that in addition to the Philippines flooding, the Samoas have been hit by a devastating tsunami in the Pacific, and Indonesia has been hit by an earthquake that has buried thousands. Today I received a message from the US Embassy, warning Americans in the Philippines that 3 more storms are headed for the nation, and they are encouraging people to prepare for more devastation. My prayers are full today. Tomorrow, one last day to reflect "when the world weeps." Thanks for taking time to care and to pray.

2 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Kristi_runwatch said...

Thanks for this series, Julie. It is too easy to insulate ourselves from the reality of what is happening worldwide and forget that our brothers and sisters so desperately need us to carry them to the throne in prayer.

Warren Baldwin said...

I read this post and quickly looked over the first two. Your prayer requests here are so thorough - I can tell you have given this a lot of thoughtful care and prayer. Even if we have a tragedy occur here, we have systems in place to help. It is hard to imagine how it is in other places where there may not be the services and assistance that we have. Your compassion for the victims is exemplary.

I think we met a few weeks ago on a post about unemployment. How is that situatin for your family now? (Note: I have the blog Family Fountain which you visited).