As the carnage from Cyclone Nargis moves toward 50,000 dead and beyond, there is a way to pray and act:
1. Be softened to the pain nearby.
The Good Samaritan knew nothing of the calamities in first century Burma, but was commended by the Lord for mercies at hand (Luke 10:25-37).
2. Pray for the followers of Christ in Myanmar:
- That they would be still and know that God is God (Psalm 46:10; 100:3).
- That they would be awakened from the illusion that this life is long or sure or the main point of eternal existence (James 4:14).
- That they would be given a new vision of the supreme value of Christ who promises his followers that famine, nakedness, and death will not separate them from his love (Romans 8:35).
- That God would meet their needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus, so that they might have to give to those in need (Philippians 4:19; Ephesians 4:28).
3. Pray for the millions of unbelievers near the calamity and far from it:
- That they would see the helplessness of man before the Power that rules the world and fly to Christ who alone delivers from the final cyclone of God’s wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
- That they would not respond like the people in Revelation (9:20; 16:9, 11) who did not repent at the devastation but cursed God.
- That they would hear the best news in all the world—not the news of health, wealth, and prosperity in this world, but the news that Christ became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13) so that in him we can be more than conquerors in every calamity of life (Romans 8:37).
4. Pray for those of us who live in the seeming security and prosperity of America:
- That we would see what is about to break over us in due time—either collectively as God removes the hand of his providential restraint, or individually as one by one we are whisked to the hospital, then wheeled to the nursing home, and then carried to the funeral home (Hebrews 9:27).
- That millions would be made to see this and repent from the adultery of treasuring anything more than Christ (James 4:4).
5. Give money to replenish the coffers of compassion “since you also are in the body” (Hebrews 13:3).
6. Muster a team from your church, and when the doors are open, be ready to go.
This kind of going always has the promise of a special, “I will be with you to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).