The morning headlines crackle with the pain and pressure of the night: “Debtor Nations Search for Aid.” “Mystery Illness Baffles Experts.” “Revolutions Rock Dictatorships.” The unrelenting facts of war, poverty, and sadness threaten to undo what Jesus wanted us to have: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
How do we speak of abundant life in the presence of great sorrow? Believers want to greet each new day with something of Christ’s confidence. But there’s a cloud upon our sunrise, a tarnish on our joy.
We know too much; we hear too much. Our hearts grow heavy with the news.
And if He left us with no remedy, we would be, as Paul might say, “of all men the most pitiable” (1 Cor. 15:19). To have His heart but no access to His power would leave us always in our tears.
But the same Lord who teaches us to care also teaches us to pray: “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). When we are most tempted to despair, we hear even in painful news a strong, persistent call to prayer. We meet the facts of human woe, not with an airy disregard, but with the deep concern of believers promised that our petitions will be heard and answered. By praying, we align ourselves with the invincible Christ; we express our fundamental agreement with His purposes and His soon-arriving kingdom. What seems our helplessness is, in fact, our greatest claim upon His power.
“Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence,” Ellen White wrote more than century ago. “He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls the waves of the great deep—the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of His people, if they will call upon Him in faith. He will restrain all the forces of darkness, until the warning is given to the world, and all who will heed it are prepared for His coming.”*
Today, bring all the news before the Lord—interceding for the hungry, pleading for the victims, strengthening the righteous, lifting up the lost. He who came to preach good news invites you to stay in prayer until that morning when the news will be always and only good.
— Bill Knott
* Ellen G. White, in Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Dec. 14, 1905.