All around the world people are weeping because of the extreme suffering of a war which has been brought clearly before our eyes on our TV screens and social media. The Bible says, ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn’ (Romans 12:15).
Christians have been pouring out their urgent prayers, watching what is happening from hour to hour. I am grateful for the connections on the internet as never before, because friends can let us all know they are safe and keep us updated and everyone can put on scripture and prayers for them. A song by Marilyn Baker comes into my mind. ‘He gives joy to the hopeless, peace to the weary and He binds up the brokenhearted’. My prayer is for all of those who are suffering to have strength when they feel weary of it all and utterly exhausted.
In times of trauma and great fear Christians often find the psalms are particularly helpful. They encourage us to have faith and they comfort us. King David wrote many psalms which are prayers to God asking for help when he was in danger. But, in the same psalms, he also declares that God is his fortress, a place of safety in times of trouble and that he trusts in Him.
One example among many is Psalm 59:1-2, which says, ‘Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me. Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood’. Later on in the same psalm, David says, ‘But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely’ (Psalm 59:16-17).
In the New Testament (Ephesians 6:10-20), the apostle Paul encourages Christians to ‘be strong in the Lord’. As we live in a spiritual war zone, we must protect ourselves, and put on the armour of God. We must take our stand against the devil’s schemes and use a weapon to fight with. This weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Also, we are to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. ‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’ (Ephesians 6:12).
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