A Greek Orthodox priest in Ukraine explained his church’s decision to contribute to the security of his country. “When the war started, we began to pray day and night.
“So starting from the end of February, in our parish, for example, we (have) had constant, ongoing prayer day and night. The whole day is divided into one hour (slots). A person is responsible for that hour.
“It’s not easy, you know. Getting up in the night. But it’s our spiritual front.”
Run or Rest!
Instead of running from a war that has claimed thousands of lives, the priest and his congregation have chosen to rest in the Lord.
I expect that Psalm 11 has been a frequent prayer during their 24/7 vigils.
In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me,
“Flee like a bird to the mountains,
“Or look, the wicked bend the bow,
they have fitted their arrow to the string,
to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.
“If the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11.1-3)
What can ordinary people do when the wicked are powerful and the foundations of life are undercut?
Like the church in Ukraine, we can hold to the vision of the Lord as the righteous judge and make the Lord the foundation of our lives.
Rather than run, they rest in God who is their refuge.
I am inspired by the faithfulness of God’s people in Ukraine. If their spiritual front is the prayer room, why can’t I join them and devote a portion of my devotional life to praying with them?
God’s Presence – Our Comfort
How do you remain steadfast in the face of trouble and not run for safety? The presence of God allows us to not run from trouble.
The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord’s throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold; his gaze examines humankind.
The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
and his soul hates the lover of violence.
On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulfur;
a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
the upright shall behold his face. (Psalm 11.4-7)
God’s “throne is in heaven” and he cannot be manipulated or threatened to act contrary to his will.
At the same time, God is available to humans. He “is in his holy temple.” The temple is the place where heaven and earth touch.
As God interacts with humans, he examines our attitudes and actions.
One of the strongest statements about God’s concern for the right treatment of humans is “his soul hates the lover of violence.” I don’t know what it means for God’s soul to hate someone, but I don’t want to be on the wrong side of his wrath.
Rudy Ross, my YouTube partner, frequently quotes from Aaron’s blessing. Verse 7 points us to Aaron’s prayer.
When we are concerned that the foundations of life are being shaken, let’s turn to this blessing and ask it for all who are in need.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
There will be a YouTube video tomorrow. Rudy Ross and I will discuss a passage from 1 Thessalonians.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.