Saturday, August 2, 2014

Altar-Cation: A Call to Prayer

I'm sure many of you have heard of the Ebola breakout in Africa on the news. I'm sure you've also heard of the the medical missionaries who have been stricken by this awful virus. I first heard about Dr. Kent Brantly when KLove Radio announced that he had the chance of getting ill but then the next morning I hear on the news that he had indeed become infected. I quickly prayed for him and his family.

I caught a cold the other day and as I was jokingly whining to my sisters about how much I hate being sick, God whispered, "at least that is all you have." He was right. I felt humbled and began praying immediately again for Dr. Brantly and his family, as well as the people who are now infected and dying from something much more serious than my little summer cold. 

Something really hit me last night though. As I was scrolling through Facebook I saw friends posting links from ABCNews and other news links about Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly who are ill with the virus and how they are coming home to America. I'm sure these people's families are glad to have their loved ones home even if they aren't quite together yet. At least they aren't thousands and thousands of miles away. However, it wasn't the news of the virus coming to America coming here that drew my attention and concern. Comments from people about the news is what took me by surprise.

"Greaaaattt." and "Pull out the masks, Atlanians."

Echoes of "We don't want you here" resounded in my subconscious. The same way people might have said or thought about Leapers in Jesus's day. Those are the mildest of comments on this matter but I didn't dare look through the rest. It would've broken my heart. I'm sure some people don't think there words will ever  really be seen or heard by anyone, but they are wrong. People hear, people see, and people follow. I'm all for not getting sick. Believe me, I hate it just as much as the next folk. But what has happened to us, as Christians? That all we think about is ourselves, our comfort, our own well being above that of our brothers and sisters? 

I ask: Would you really condemn them for doing what God called them, as missionaries, to do because it makes you uncomfortable when calamity happens? Of course, this virus is nothing to sneeze at.  I believe in taking precautions and it should be taken seriously... then why aren't we standing together as the Christian soldiers we claim to be and turning to God with all this? Why aren't we praying, asking him to heal those who are sick and protect those who aren't? Why are we closing our arms when we should be spreading them wide open? So, as long as they aren't right next door it's okay to send our prayers out to them without restraints, with full compassion and understanding? Instead, groans fill the air and people draw back into their shells. Taking all our support and prayers with them. Why are we so quick to give our opinions and decisions but forget to put our trust in God?

Jesus hung around sick people ALL THE TIME! People with illness's just as serious back then or more than what we face today. Back then there were no vaccine's to help, no comfortable beds to lie your head on as you rested and became well again. No, instead, you would be cast out, ostracized, cut off from the community, your family and friends. Have we put all our faith within human limits, which we know fails, and lost all faith in The Almighty who never fails?

I spent many hours writing this because I truly felt God calling me to share these words. This is not a rant. This is not a blame game. These fingers are not pointing at you, these hands are crying out, "Lift up! Lift them up to the sky!" Rather than moaning and casting stones, praise God for not being ill stricken like these people in Africa. Praise God that you are not suffering through a loved one who has fallen ill like these families are experiencing right now. Praise God that he is with us ALWAYS! 

God says, "giver your worries to me for I care for you." He is not just saying, "I care about you and you're well being." He is saying, "I will take care of you".

Those are action words. 

We need to act as well. Don't just say, "I am praying for [insert your prayers]" but truly do it as often in your day as you can, and then some. Do it when your washing the dishes, driving to work, playing with your family. Steal as many moments of prayer as you can. No one needs to know how much your praying either. Just talk to God as if you were talking to your brother or sister, husband and wife, friends. 
"But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you." ~Matthew 6:6 (NLT)

We are followers of Christ. Let's gather together and not let the devil get a foothold in our hearts and our country. Let's take up our cross and instead of groaning and constantly worrying, pray for God's healing and protection and then believe he will do it!

Honestly, all these dystopian movies Hollywood is producing and these books being published, it's setting a fear in peoples hearts that wasn't meant to be there. Will the world end one day, yes! Read Revelations to find the truth, because all those movies and books are nothing but man-made fiction intended to scare you. 

See this diagram below? The top example shows the switch; it looks like a door to me. What if that is the door we are allowing the Devil to put his foot through? If you know anything about electricity and circuitry I applaud you When its open it stops the flow of positive energy and it can't reach the light bulb.

However, when that switch is closed the light bulb comes to life. Much is the same for our way of faith. If we let the devil get a foothold into our life and into our hearts the positive energy gets disrupted and it can't reach its destination. It can't light up the darkness.
"Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous." ~Psalms 112:14 (NLT)
"No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house." ~Matthew 5:15 (NLT)
Let's close the door on Satan and let God's current of life, love, flow through us and shine his wondrous light in this world blinded by fear. Let's bring our worries and cares before the altar of The Lamb. Let's encourage those around us not to be afraid and rest in the assurance of Christ. Because I believe even the least negativity is still negative.

Lets pray over the souls we have yet to meet but who need healing, physically and spiritually. Because if they believe and have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior then even if their, or your, bodies, perish here on earth their spirits move on to be with God forever in Heaven. Let's not forget who we are. We are children of God, his warriors, his cherished and beloved ones. He loves us and we need constant communication with Him if we hope to see change in the world. If we truly believe in God and his love than what do we really have to be afraid of? 

Prayer Starter: Dear Jesus, we ask you to be with Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol. They were out there helping those less than they and were attacked with this awful virus. Heal them of this sickness, fully and completely. We know they are coming home and people are worried they might get sick as well. Keep them safe from harm Lord and put their minds at ease because I know you are with us. Change the hearts of those who are worried and help them welcome these missionaries home. 
Have compassion on the people in Africa and have mercy on them. Show them your loving kindness through the midst of this tragedy and pain. Help us to not act out wrongly in fear and to trust you more with our lives. In Jesus name we pray, Amen. 

Authors Note: I got the idea for the title of this post as I was thinking about bringing our worries before the Lord. How we bring our burdens to the altar and the word Altercation came up. Altercation means to have a loud disagreement. So I played on the words. I looked up "Cation" and it is the positive ION charge in things like batteries. I think you can piece together the rest from how the post went. God didn't just have me write this post but had me praying the entire time. For the peopling coming to the US, their families, and for all of you out there reading and not reading this. I don't think I've ever felt quite that way before. Have a wonderful day!