For many living in British Columbia, these past few weeks have been dramatic, devastating, and emotional. Thousands have been evacuated from their homes in the central and southern interior of the province as at least 150 wildfires have swept the ground.¹
Times like these cause unwanted stretching of our minds. Suddenly, out of nowhere, our world is flipped upside down. Things we’ve never dreamt of happening are now in stark reality – crystal clear. We’re faced with circumstances too heavy to bear, yet, they’re right there in our hands.
These circumstances, although never wished for or desired, usually bring unity among people as kindness and generosity abound. In the midst of great heartache and anxiety, hope flickers. It’s beautiful to see and experience.² As days, months, and then years pass on from this disaster, the stories of love and charity will be remembered at the same (or even greater) degree as the disaster itself.
A Beam of Change
But, I want to remind us of something that doesn’t merely cause a flicker of hope, but a beam of change. This great force of power isn’t in an organization, a “way of thinking,” or a change in attitude.
It’s actually found in the intentional, consistent, and passionate practice of prayer.³
The more the God of the Bible is humiliated, mocked, and disrespected in the world, the more prayer seems a complete waste of time and energy. Sadly, this lack of passionate prayer has also found its way in the hearts and minds of God’s people.
Learning from a Poor Widow
May I remind us of just one story in the Bible that should convict and encourage us regarding prayer.
“The Parable of the Persistent Widow” is found in Luke 18:1-8. Jesus makes the purpose of this parable clear, as Luke writes, “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Jesus goes on to tell them about a widow who was experiencing injustice in her city. She kept going to the judge who lacked any respect for God or humanity, and he likewise kept refusing. Finally, he gives in to her complaint and gives justice to this widow. Jesus then says, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night?”
The point Jesus is making is that God isn’t some transcendent, unjust, and apathetic deity who watches the world burn (metaphorically and literally). Jesus is saying that God is completely opposite of that. If, then, God is close, just, and invested in our lives, why wouldn’t we go to Him in trials asking for help? For deliverance? For peace?
How I see it, we either don’t believe God is who He says He is, or we don’t trust that He works all things together for good for those who are called according to His purpose.
My humble and heartfelt appeal to anyone effected by the wildfires in British Columbia is to pray to the God of the Bible and trust in Him completely. Be as persistent in your prayers as that poor widow, and be bold in your faith – trusting that God’s answer may not be your answer.
And this appeal isn’t just for those effected by the fires or even those in other tragedies – this is for the entire Church at all times to make a regular, consistent, and persistent practice of prayer.
“[We] ought always to pray and not lose heart.”
¹ At the time of writing this, there are 124 fires still currently active. (Check here for the current active fires).
² If you’re one of the many people who’ve helped in this disaster, thank you.
³ If you have been one of the many Christians who have prayed during this disaster, thank you. You are an example to the Church!