Part of my message yesterday included prayer for the families and friends of the victims of the Malaysia MH17 commercial airliner as well as for the ones who caused the horrific tragedy.
The loss of 298 passengers and crew on the commercial airliner shot down in the Ukraine last week is a tragic loss for the world. Each individual had a purpose, making a difference in our world, with a great future ahead of them. There were several children who died in the MH17 flight as well as HIV researchers, teachers, doctors, parents, grandparents, husbands, wives, students, and the list goes on.
Some of the one-line stories include:
- Emma Bell and her husband– a teacher who was returning home from vacation one week before school starts back up in Australia.
- Frankie and Liam Davison- a young couple returning home from vacation to their two children. Frankie was a college teacher.
- Albert Rizk and his wife Marie –Albert was a real estate agent. They spent a month in Europe with another couple who caught an earlier flight which the Rizk’s missed.
- University student, Elaine Teoh and her boyfriend, Emiel Mahler.
- Marco Grippeling, 48 years old; his wife was on a different flight going home from their trip.
- Dr Roger Guard and his wife Jill were on the flight returning from vacation. He’s a pathologist due back to work today.
- Nick Norris and his three grand kids–Mo 12, Evie 10, and Otis 8 were returning to their parents from vacation.
- Irene and George Burrows lost their son and daughter-in-law, Rodney and Mary, in March on MH 370. Now, step-granddaughter, Maree and husband, Albert, were killed in MH 17.
- Nun, Sister Philomena Tiernan from Sister of Sacred Heart.
- Michael and Carol Clancey were celebrating Michael’s retirement and were returning from three week Europe trip. They were both teachers who worked with special needs students.
I would love to have the opportunity to minister to the families and friends of the MH17 victims; however, it’s challenging to even think about ministering to those who committed the evil act. Yet, we are called to live out the message of God’s grace.
Part of being the message of grace is to join in prayer with one another, asking for God’s divine intervention, believing God’s grace is sufficient in every circumstance.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong (II Corinthians 12:9-10, NLT).
Will you pray?
- Pray for the families and friends of the MH17 passengers and crew. Engage with God, knowing God is the God of more and is certainly at work in this great tragedy.
- Pray for those who committed the evil act. While we don’t know who exactly targeted and shot the commercial airliner down, faith communities have the opportunity to pray for these people too. God’s grace will give the power to pray the Light will break through the darkness of evil.
- Pray for individuals willing to go into the space where evil is residing and minister to the people who are in spiritual darkness, not only telling but showing them the grace of God. Pray for someone to be given courage to go on assignment to the people sitting in darkness and do not know the power of Light, for someone who is not afraid of what’s happened and is willing to trust God for what will happen, for someone who has a perspective of faith rather than of fear, for someone who knows who God is, for someone understanding this would be a trip of a lifetime because it will make an incredible difference in the world.
As you pray, will you open yourself up to the power and presence of God, trusting God is the God who will heal the world, God is the God who breaks through the darkness and reveals the Light, God is the God who gives amazing grace when it’s not deserved?
We feel helpless right now. We do not understand how evil has progressed to the place where a commercial airline would be shot down and 298 people with a purpose and individual stories, who’ve been making an impact in this world would die from the hand of evil.
So, we enter into Your presence, giving You praise, emptying ourselves of the things that don’t belong. God, would you remove anything in us that’s attached to hate and replace it with Your grace and mercy?
God, we ask to receive Your mercy in a new way, making us new right now. You’ve promised in Lamentations 3 that Your mercy is new every day. We ask that You will rain Your mercy down upon us right now, giving us a new vision as we pray.
God, on behalf of the families and friends, we ask for You to provide a new pathway for people to travel safely to get to the place where their loved ones have died, enabling them to be a part of the process of bringing the remains of their loved ones home. We ask that You would quickly open the way for them to go, making their journey meaningful, safe, and far from harm. Most of all, we ask that each family member and friend would draw close to You as you assign people throughout the world to pray and to minister to them.
God, we want to be a nation of Light and healing, asking for faith communities to be a part of this kind of divine movement, helping us to remember that it’s not about ourselves but about You. We are grateful that as the Light of Christ graciously invaded our lives, we can boldly ask as the people move into the space where their loved ones died that Your Light from heaven would break through the darkness of their hopelessness and when they walk into the horrible graveyard each person will see there’s more to the story, knowing your hand of grace is on them, and by Your grace there will have the beginning of new hope.
God, we ask for healing power to be released within each mind, heart, and soul. And, that each individual will be healed through Your love, mercy, and grace, making them new.
The hard part of this prayer is to pray for the enemy. It feels like Jonah. It would be easy to run in the opposite direction rather than giving them any attention or time. Even so, align us with Your grace. We acknowledge You have issued grace for everybody and anybody, inviting each of us to the table to partake of Your grace with one another, including the worst of the worst.
God, we ask to have many people sent into the “enemy” camp, to be a part of opening the hearts of those who are in the darkness, giving them a willingness to confess what they’ve done and a willingness to receive Your grace. We boldly ask there would be a revival. And the loss of the 298 people in this world would transform the world.
And, I know many of those praying have also been harmed by others. In this moment, would you help each one to let go of the grip of harm on them? Would You, by Your Spirit, help someone dive into Grace, receiving new life, especially for the one who is drowning in the harm committed against their life.
And, we pray for the person who committed the evil act.
Would you send a fresh wind of Your Spirit to blow upon faith communities around the world?
For the ones who have not invited Christ into their life, would you open their heart to Your presence? And, would You draw neighbors of the faith communities to enter in, giving those of us with faith the desire to welcome them into our community, to pour our life into their lives, being light in the darkness.
God, we are humbled to know Your power is released when we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.
Isn’t God good? I do pray you will fall in love with Christ all over again, each day as you take the FIRST FIFTEEN challenge. And, I hope you continue to pray for all of our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering as well as those who are lost in spiritual darkness.
We are called to do what matters. It’s what God told the prophet Jonah in the ancient days:
But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness,[a] not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?” (Jonah 4:11, NLT).
VIEW FROM MY JOYS–with Grandma Palmer who is suffering from severe dementia–Sunday, July 2014, dinner. Connection with one another is so important. Remember relationships are a gift. Refuse to take one another for granted.
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2014 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)