A Call to Prayer
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
During these surreal days of the unfolding COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, people are inclined to look to all manner of different places for information, comfort, help, and advice. We determined at St. John that we would utilize Harris County and CDC information sources for our decision making on issues of gatherings and other plans.
More important, however, we are turning to God for wisdom, comfort, advice, and help. Some people think of prayer as an exercise of vain foolishness. Many people think of prayer as “good vibes” or a calming and centering spiritual exercise.
I think more of it than that. With that in mind, I will use this blog over the next 40 days as a call to prayer. We start today with this prayer asking for help and reminding us to look to God for the help we need. This is not to dismiss good hygiene. This is not to reject careful and sensible precautions. This is to recognize God’s preeminence over all things and the blessedness of our access to the throne of God’s grace through prayer.
So let us pray! Just last night I realized that my prayers – in addition simply to asking God to put a stop to this virus – ought to be that God would help me know what I am to do. In addition to praying for wisdom for doctors, researchers, and medical personnel, I need to pray for discernment for my own actions, witness, and planning.
So let us pray! Pray for wisdom, guidance, protection, help, and discernment for yourself and others. But pray also for a steadfast heart to trust in God above all, and courage to do the things you know you should do. Pray that God would help you to look to him, and remember that the hills are beautiful, they are not the source of our help. Our help comes from God.
I invite you to pray this prayer from the National Day of Prayer committee…
One of my very favorite Psalms. Thank you for the wonderful prayer.