Praying for Japan

17 Mar

I tried to pray for Japan. And I did pray. But I felt slightly ridiculous…

How does one articulate the depth of pain, without feeling hypocritical just knowing how much worse theirs must be? How do you cry out when you know that their desperation is beyond compare? How do I touch God and say He knows best, when I cannot see clearly to know what they might need that I can bring or pray for and my head is a haze of black fog… relieved by the images of the water covering the landscape like so much tar, or a creeping oil spill, or an advert for glossy paint? Still it’s the sea and in it are the thousands of lives and livelihoods it has claimed.

On Monday, one of my kids came to me and said: ‘Miss, I don’t understand… I never saw the video. What happened?’ We watched the newsreel. We were shocked. Again.

How do you pray? When your own life’s overwhelming tide is swamped as your breath is taken away by such blatant and helpless pain? It’s the same in every story of helplessness – except this is one that we all share, in this time. How do you pray when you’ve seen someone die in a road accident? How do you pray when you find a community in a slum? How do you pray when your friend’s mum dies, when your best friend’s career is ripped away from her?

Seriously, how do you pray?

We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Rom 8:26b, 27

I am trusting God to intercede today, in the Spirit, in tongues, in new songs, in my writing – whatever it takes – for these walls to break, for Japan, for family, for children, for our calling, for who we are, for such a time as this… For you, for us – and yes, even for me.

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