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Friday, June 22, 2012

Prayer and Faith in Times of Crisis

How do you respond to a crisis? a. with fear b. with faith c. with worry d. with prayer. e with action f. with inaction; (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 703).

Of course the ideal response in meeting a crisis is effective action and stamina. It is not always obvious the surest and straightest path to get there. Fear is typically our first response to crisis, followed with a moment when we are frozen in fear—this period of inaction brings on a sense of guilt from which we escape through impulsive, often ineffective action. When the crisis proves intractable, we enter the chronic "worry mode". In short, prayer becomes an afterthought and faith a stranger. So, in the nature of things, we put the cart before the horse. Prayer and faith are fundamental for they help us define the meaning of the crisis and help us delimit its nature within a context of fundamental goals and long-term essential values. Thusly anchored, we are sufficiently grounded to engage in confident, effective, and assured action. The difficulty arises when the crisis is social and not personal and when myopic, divisive objectives confound the search for common shared values. This puts us into an argumentative mode, not a prayerful one. Yet prayer and faith with their emphasis on the long-term provide the only reliable answer – perhaps only after the crisis becomes a greater one and finally threatens utter ruin. Then, as a last resort, we may be sufficiently humbled to search for shared essential values though faith and prayer. We, in the end, may find it more effective to worship God and not ourselves.

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