|We're never really alone, even when it feels like it|
The prayer list I keep in my rolling cathedral (car) is overflowing with urgent needs of those I care about. The thing is, I often don't know how to pray, especially if the person I'm praying for is terminally ill. Or if the situation seems, by human standards, hopeless.
Dare I pray for a miracle for each of these loved ones?
I found the answer in the third chapter of Daniel. It's the well known story of three Hebrew boys (four counting Daniel, but he's not a key player in this particular part of the story) who have been taken captive and are living in Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar, their self-centered monarch whose only god was himself. I'm going to call him King N to give my weary typing fingers a break.
Following some bad advice from his yes-men advisers, vain King N built a giganto statue of His Royal Hiney and ordered everyone in the kingdom to fall down and pay homage to his royal self or die. These true-God-worshipping Hebrew slaves, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused. They flat refused to worship any other but the one and only God Almighty knowing the alternative was death in the bowels of King N's fiery furnace.
That was gutsy all right, but not as gutsy as what they did next.
In verses 17-18, our boys answered King N's snide question, "What god will be able to rescue you from my power?" with what I call the SAM creed (an acronym of their names):
"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn't, you can be sure that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up."
But even if He doesn't... five powerful words that contain a lifetime of pure trust.
In other words, the SAM fellows said, "We believe that the God we serve can do anything. He can save us from this disaster. But even if He chooses not to, we will still serve Him."
And you know the rest of the story ... God did indeed work an incredible walk-with-me-through-the-fire miracle and King N ended up declaring, "There is no other god who can rescue like this!" (verse 29)
So it occurred to me that maybe I should pray about the seemingly hopeless situations on my prayer list by the very same SAM creed: "Lord, I believe that you perform miracles now just like you did then. Please send a miracle to save my friend from this impending disaster. But even if you choose not to intervene, and my heart breaks with the suffering of this dearly beloved one, I will still serve you."
Is there someone in your life you need to lift up in prayer with the SAM creed? Tell me about it - I'd love to hear from you.