We often pray for protection and provision especially when there is a pending crisis. For example, rapid moving fires seem to be in so many areas around our country recently. We’ve had significant storms, especially along the coasts. There are always horrific accidents and sudden illnesses. And we pray. T
hat’s good. Very good. We pray for people to get out of harm’s way. We pray for people who are helping fight the crisis. We sigh with relief when the potential damage doesn’t happen and lives aren’t lost. That is all good. But let’s challenge our prayer lives and more deeply trust God’s provision and presence.
What about everything that comes along with the crisis—anxiety, dread, uncertainty? External circumstances impact us, but those internal responses can be overwhelming and devastating. They can also last much longer after the crisis passes. They impact and can ebb away people’s health, faith, and relationships. You might never know the impact the middle-of-the-night call has on a friend. You might not realize how long it takes for someone to feel at home again after an evacuation or storm threat. You might not know the expected triggers as well subtle effects even the person in the center of it might not connect and understand.
We need to pray beyond the crisis and chaos. God knows the details better than we do, and he wants us to trust him beyond what details we know. I’m not saying we should or shouldn’t pray in specific ways at specific times, only that we can expand our prayer focus. The more sensitive we are to his prompts, the more we find ourselves praying with certainty about uncertain things. We don’t know the details, but we can refuse to skim the surface. We don’t just pray for God to show up in a specific way; we pray he shows up in the ways we might not know about. His reach is always vast. His possibilities are always endless. And there is always room for us to grow in prayer and in faith.