My wife was coming home Saturday night and found our street barricaded by the police. As she approached the barricade, they told her to turn off her lights and turn around. When she explained that her house was just on the other side of the barricade, she was told that she would still could not go through and would have to find another way.
It turned out that six lots down from us a man had locked himself in a home and was threatening to shoot the police. While my wife was able to find a way home, for several hours we could hear the standoff. At eleven o-clock the gunfire started. We had already been praying, but now our prayers intensified.
This was my emergency, but several of you had your own last week as Hurricane Sandy tore through the northeast. Maybe your emergency is a family member who is in the hospital. Whatever it is for you, emergencies happen in life. As mature believers, how are we to pray during them?
4 Things to Pray in an Emergency
Let’s not overspiritualize this. Our first response is asking for help and safety. Let’s be honest with the Lord. God wants us to be real with Him. If we skip this step, it will be hard to find God in the process. It’s like the blind man calling out to Jesus. When Jesus turned to him, He asked him what he wanted (Mark 10:51). God wants us to verbalize what we really want.
2. What is God Doing?
Once you verbalize your request, you can more easily find God and hear His heart of the matter. God is not caught off guard with your situation. He has a way to work it out for the good. Ask Him questions.
- Where are you?
- What are you doing?
- How do you want me to pray?
- How can I partner with You?
When Lazarus was very sick, word was sent to Jesus to come. Mary and Martha knew that if Jesus was there Lazarus would not die. However, when Jesus heard the news, he delayed. Mary and Martha wanted a healing; Jesus wanted a resurrection (John 11:1-44). Ask God what He wants to do so that you can pray according to His will.
3. Pray in the Spirit
Hearing the voice of God can be difficult in the emergency. When we feel danger, it is hard to be open to God’s plans being different than ours. Thankfully God has giving us a gift in praying in the Spirit. This bypasses our mind and prays in agreement of the Spirit even when we don’t know what the will of God is (Romans 8:26-27).
Too often within emergencies, we forget God’s goodness and protection over us. The disciples display exactly this as they were crossing the sea during the storm. They were afraid, and Jesus was sleeping. When they woke Him, they criticized Him for not caring. Jesus links their fear to lack of faith (Mark 4:35-41). Worship lifts us out of our fear and renews our faith in God and His goodness towards us. When we know God loves us even in our situation, fear releases its strangle hold over us. For example, think of Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25).
Resolution to Our Emergency
In our emergency there was a good resolution. The man was caught, arrested, and no one was injured. The lingering effect that we still need to pray for is the fear that has stayed with many in our neighborhood. God was good and protected all of us, but the situation has caused some to fear what if this were to happen again. I would appreciate your prayers for our community.
What is your emergency? Join the Prayer Coach Facebook page and share your requests with others who believe in the power of prayer.
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.