I woke up this morning to see alerts all over social media about how Paris had been attacked, tens of people had already been confirmed dead, and how other large cities were on alert for possible threats. I see people posting hotlines and messages telling residents of Paris to stay inside and to stay safe. My first thought after being informed of the tragedy was ‘not again.’ News alerts of innocent lives being taken occur much too often, and it’s hard to see something like this happen over and over.
My second thought was helplessness. What do I have that can help these people? I have no power or influence to change this situation, and I don’t even know anybody in Paris that I could check up on. I come to the conclusion that all I could do was pray.
Confession time: I hate when I am unable to do something about a situation. I’m not a ‘control freak’ for sure, I’m actually extremely go-with-the-flow and flexible – maybe even too much. But when there’s a situation like this or even something like an upset friend, I absolutely hate not being able to make a change. I want to do something tangible, something that will have an immediate effect on the people who need help. Of course, this is the real word, I’m not super(wo)man, and a reality check is necessary sometimes. I can’t do everything, that’s for sure. And that’s okay.
This is where I come back to my conclusion that ‘all I could do was pray.’ It’s easy to forget just how powerful prayer can be. It’s not a last resort, a thing we do because we can’t do anything else. Prayer IS tangible. Prayer CAN and DOES have an immediate effect on people who need help. Prayer DOES make a change. Prayer protects. Prayer saves. When you’re antsy about a situation like me, it can be hard to be patient and let God work, but when we do, He does amazing things.
In Jeremiah 29:12, God says “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” God is listening to our prayers, we just need to have faith. It’s so important to keep the people of Paris in our prayers. Keep in mind the families and friends of those who lost their lives, and ask that they will somehow come to know Him and find peace amidst this tragedy. Remember just how powerful our God is, and be reminded that he is in control of everything – even the situations that may seem hopeless.