Summary: This sermon is re-edited from Timothy Peck’s sermon about 9-11-01 to the Space shuttle Columbia explosion on 2-1-03. It has meaning to any tragedy.
Praying in Times of Crisis
This sermon is re-edited from Timothy Peck’s sermon about 9-11-01 to the Space shuttle Columbia explosion on 2-1-03. It has meaning to any tragedy.
TEXT: Matthew 6:11 - 5 "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8"Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
14"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” NKJV
Our lives are still numb from the events of yesterday, as the Space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over the plains of Texas. We’ve experienced a national tragedy. Our hearts are broken for the innocent lives that have been lost. We’re struggling to understand how this happened. But we’re also hopeful, knowing our resolve to continue in the exploration of the Heavens. We are a people of resiliency.
I’d like to make a few suggestions for how you and your family can honor Jesus as you walk through this time of pain and grief. These ideas apply for any time we face trials and grief.
I. – PRAY –
We gather here at the church to humble ourselves and seek the face of God. We’ve prayed together as a family. We continue to intercede for President Bush and his advisors, we need to pray for NASA, the emergency service personnel who are working, and for the astronauts families, and friends.
II. - TALK -
In the times of grief in our lives we need to tell others about what were experiencing. We don’t deal with grief of any magnitude and tragedy by bottling it up, but we need to express it. We need to talk about our anger and frustration, our pain and grief, our hope and resolve. We need to talk about it with our spouse and our friends, with our coworkers and our neighbors. Perhaps most of all, we need to talk with our kids, listening to their fears and anger, assuring them as best we can.
III. - SHARE –
Share our faith in Jesus with those around us. This is no time for timidity or fear because we have hope to share. We need to proceed with gentleness and love, but we need to explain how our faith in Jesus is helping us get through this. We need to explain how according to the Bible every human being will give an account before God of their actions.
IV. - RESTRAIN –
In times of trial / tragedy / turmoil - we look to blame. It is a natural reaction. We desire to maybe call on police, lawyers, or others to help us resolve our pain. We need to restrain ourselves and encourage those around us to restrain themselves. We’re angry because we’ve been victims of terrible events. But since we can’t see the object of our anger, we’ll be tempted to let our anger spill out onto other people.
V. - PERSEVERE –
We are united in a single cause, that of glorifying God in who we are. We must press forward, even in the midst of brokenness, believing that maintaining a sense of routine and normalcy will help us and our families through any time of pain. We need to demonstrate to the others that we can endure the toughest of circumstances. As followers of Jesus we persevere, knowing that the Bible is true when it promises ultimate vindication on the other side of perseverance. But we must pray, talk about it, share our faith, restrain ourselves, and persevere if we are to get through this unprecedented time of suffering together.
As we read the word of Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer, perhaps providentially today we come to that part where we bring our needs to God. We come to that phrase, “Give us this today our daily bread” Mt. 6:11.