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Thursday, July 24, 2014

When the Hurts of the World Overwhelm Your Heart

**This post is updated as of 7-25-14**

It is one thing to let your past mistakes overwhelm your present.  That can be paralyzing and destructive if left unchecked.  But what about when our hearts bear the pain and suffering of those near and far?  Those who are family, might as well be family, or you’ve never even met but are in great distress?  How do we handle the immense grief?

We intercede in prayer.  That weight on your soul is there as a reminder from the Spirit to come low and raise up others. 

Lately I’ve been thinking nonstop of what I might be able to DO to alleviate the sorrow, misery or persecutions I see daily.

When I see a dear friend I met deep in the mama-trenches rally troops to Pray for Hannah – her one-year-old – I want others to join.  I saw the pain when this same disease stole her sister-in-law too soon from their family.  I remember the “why”s and the “how”s that flowed in tears and I can feel powerless – except that prayer is MIGHTY!!

When I see tens of thousands of children alone and parentless fighting for the hope of a better life, I want to go and gather them all in.  I want to wash their hair and tuck them in.  I want to help them find their mamis and papis who came before – or were left behind.  I want to protect them from those who would take advantage.  I want freedom and safety and childhood for them and I can feel powerless – except that prayer is MIGHTY!!

My heart shuddered this week when I learned of a child being taken from the only family he’s ever known and returned to a biological family who never wanted him out of jealousy!  This is not a jealousy for the child, but a jealousy of the child and “if I can’t have it, you cant either” pettiness.  What terror must fill his breaking heart and the ache filling those who are his heart parents, brother, and sister!  And I feel powerless against a Ugandan government – except that prayer is MIGHTY!!

My mind cannot fathom the daily life with an invading terrorist organization that would mark homes with a letter to signify faith – or mere genetics – as grounds for targeting. When the difference between a Y or X chromosome demands mutilation (**ISIS is denying this claim and will be removed if found to be false).  When one tries to “love first, and ask questions later” with preemptive love (** use this link to make a donation) to heal hearts by surgery and compassion and is rewarded with pursuit and harassment, I can feel powerless against such evil – except that prayer is MIGHTY!!

Lets not forget the schoolgirls taken by Boko Haram, because they were schoolgirls and now their families are being attacked!  People of all ages and both genders trafficked for pleasure and profit around the world.  Passenger planes shot down out of the sky for no apparent reason at all.  Movie theatres, schools, and shopping malls that become shooting galleries all for a hurting soul that wants others to feel the same pain.  Fires are raging, drought is devastating, and waters are ravaging our land across the map.

So many questions with so few answers: what can I do, how can I help, how is this stopped or fixed or changed?  It all becomes overwhelming and can paralyze in the same way as past mistakes – except that prayer is MIGHTY!!

When we feel as if we can do nothing, we can always pray!  In fact, that is our calling, our job.  We lift up family, friend, and enemy alike and in it all we ask for the God of the universe to be glorified and for Him to be made known.  Friend, there is power in intercession and sometimes we are then shown what else we can do and how we can be used.

What hurt is overwhelming you right now?  What can I lift up in prayer for you and with you?


  1. Amy, this is such a great post and I love everything about it. I don't have time to follow the news often, so I didn't know these things were going on. But it's horrible to hear, and it's so true that intercessory prayer is the biggest and most important thing we can do. I've seen firsthand how much it saves lives just this year. I'm trying to get better about praying for world events. It's not easy for me, but I'm learning to lift it up as it crosses my mind throughout the day and also to cry out to God that He'd enter into our politics and educational systems and corporations and institutions just like we need Him to enter into our personal lives. Thanks for this, Amy. I really loved it.

    1. Thanks, Kim! You are praying for YOUR world and the people in it. You've seen what prayer can do and that is the encouragement we often need to keep doing it.

  2. Prayer is mighty because of the Almighty to whom we pray. I find that knowing God more is the only way I can stand in the face of injustice, abuse, and horror.
    Great post and I love the verse and picture!

    1. Oh yes! I can't believe I didn't make the point that is is because of Who we pray to, not the act of praying. Thank you for pointing that out, Becky. Come home with me sometime and I'll take you to that waterfall. It's near the top of a mountain. You'd love it!

  3. Hi Amy ... I'm so grateful that this, the only thing I can do, is the most powerful thing I can do.

    Prayer ... the mountain mover.

    1. Amen, Linda! There are some big mountains in this world!