Prayer and the Sovereignty of God

Tragedy comes at all times of the year. There is no moratorium during the holidays. A dear Christian sister, three weeks shy of her 95th birthday, passed away this week. Her death comes as a shock to our church because she was a bastion of excellent health just four days ago. But when she did not come to Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting and Bible Study, her friends were worried. After church, they checked on her and found that she had fallen in her home. Then over the course of the next two days, she improved, and then worsened, and finally Jesus shepherded her into His Kingdom.

Wednesday night, I was informed of the accident after church and rushed to her home. After EMS took her to the hospital, I returned to my home and thought over the recent events. This led me to the title of this post. My tendency, especially during emergency situations, is to automatically rush into action to “see what I can do.” Yet, often in those situations, I fail to pray.

I have no medical training and other than making a few phone calls Wednesday evening, really didn’t do much to help the situation. I should have prayed. Now, I do not suppose that the outcome of the past few days would have been much different had I, and others, prayed more. We are not privileged to know what might have been. But in Scripture, prayer is placed at a much higher priority than it is on my list. Why might that be?

Perhaps it is because in times of emergency, my natural (sinful) reflex is to grasp for control instead of resting in the all-powerful King and Sustainer, Jesus Christ. And Jesus is not silent on this issue. His Word is clear. Ask, seek, knock (Matthew 7:7). Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Approach the Throne of Grace with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). Pray for one another that you may be healed (James 5:16). And as an example in times of emergency – Nehemiah breathed a prayer to the Lord before answering his master in exile (Nehemiah 2:4-5).

Thankfully, my hope is not in my ability to pray well. My hope is in Jesus Christ and His work for me on the cross and in the resurrection. And He intercedes for us, even right now. Rest in the sovereignty of God. And pray.

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