Elder's Prayer

Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.

Father God, we saw again this week the horrible effects of sin. This time it was not in our backyard but halfway around the world. Despite the distance and the relative unfamiliarity, our church has relationships with this hurting people. Help us to pray faithfully for the people in Turkey enduring the impacts of twin massive earthquakes.

These people we don’t know well are made in your image, just as we are. They have souls that will one day face judgement, just as we will. They enjoy the common grace of deep love for family and friends, just as we do. Their pain is as real and deep, just like ours when we suffer loss of loved ones. Our hearts break with theirs as we try to comprehend the dire situations they face and empathize with them.

As we see images of the destruction and hear reports of the loss of life, it’s all hard to comprehend. Yet, we are reminded of our frailty and your power. We undoubtedly must consider our mortality and your eternality. Despite our overconfident self-dependency, we again are confronted with your sovereignty over all things. We are not promised tomorrow. As our all-mighty creator, you determined the length of our days before we knew even one of those days.

Remind us to pray for the nation of Turkey. We know the nation was under great stress even before the unexpected devastation of Monday.

We pray for their physical needs. We pray that food, drink, medicine, clothing, blankets, heat, shelter, and other necessities to survive will be available for those hurting and for those who are helping. We pray for their emotional needs.

We pray that those who lost friends and family members and those waiting for news regarding loved ones, would receive the comfort they need in the personal presence and listening ear of caring people. We pray that a disproportionate number of those caring people will be Christ followers who can minister to the hurting in gospel informed ways.

We pray for an unnatural spirit of cooperation among those providing help and aid. We pray that there would be effective communication and coordination among those on the ground helping in relief efforts.

We pray especially for Christians and Christian churches as they offer aid, would lead the way as salt and light. We pray for protection from evil doers. We pray that anyone seeking to profit wrongfully from this tragedy would be exposed and their activities ended. We pray for the ongoing rescue efforts.

We praise you God that people are still being rescued even 6 days after the earth violently shook causing buildings to crumble. We pray that rescue workers would go to the right places and to help people who can still be saved from the wreckage. We pray that the rescue workers and helpers would have all they need to do their job well and that you would give them resolve to persevere.

We pray for those you have sovereignly placed in government positions. We pray for the leaders at levels of government to be wise, merciful, humble, others-centered and motivated to see relief and recovery efforts done well.

We pray for evangelistic opportunities to be plentiful. We pray that even this horrible tragedy would be an instrument in Your hands to comfort many through the good news of the gospel brought by loving messengers. We pray specifically for the local Christians and local churches. We praise you God that there are churches in many of the cities affected. We pray for their witness and efforts to comfort those hurting. We know these Christ followers are often maligned and mistreated in this land. We pray this might be an opportunity for them to be seen offering unconditional help to non-believing people. Might this love of Christ be noticed and be impactful in ways that might lead to gospel fruit.

Above all else, we pray the one true and living God would be glorified in Jesus Christ throughout this land, among citizens and non-citizens alike, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Father, help us to be grateful that such tragedies don’t happen more frequently. It is only by your sustaining kindness and authority to hold all things together that we don’t see even greater destruction more commonly.

Remind us Lord that indeed you are our refuge and strength regardless of our situation. You are our rock and our redeemer. You are a very present help in our trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. You are God and you are good. May our hope rest in this truth. May this truth resonate in our hearts and in the hearts of those across the land in Turkey.