Dear Father, seven people were killed and dozens were injured in a tragic accident on Interstate 40 near Thoreau, New Mexico. A tractor-trailer blew a tire, crossed the median, and slammed into a Greyhound bus heading to Phoenix from Albuquerque with 49 passengers. Witnesses at the scene reported that passengers on the bus were screaming for help after the crash. Forty-three of the passengers were taken to local hospitals for treatment. Father, attend to these victims and their families even this very hour. I ask that You will give wisdom and skill to the medical teams who are supervising the care of the injured. I ask that each person will recover from their injuries. I also ask that You will help them heal from the trauma. Give them the opportunities to talk through the moment of impact with compassionate counselors. I ask for strength for their family members who are tasked with encouraging the victims. I pray for those who lost loved ones in this accident. Walk with them through their grief. Use this tragedy to bring people into closer relationships with You. I ask that lives will be changed and transformed by You directly because of this blown tire. Amen.
Dear Father, many experts are reporting that this has been the hottest year in recorded weather history. The low temperature for Quiryat, Oman on June 28th was 108 degrees. The temperature one day recently in Ouargla, Algeria was 124 degrees. Sydney, Australia, which is experiencing winter in the Southern Hemisphere, recently set a record for two consecutive days of 77 degree highs. Yerevan, Armenia set a record for the warmest July. Motherwell, Scotland, not far from Glasgow, set a new record for 92 degrees on June 28th. The 98 degree temperature record in Montreal, Canada this year was the highest ever. The University of California in Los Angeles recently recorded a temperature of 111, the highest recorded since 1933. Father, it certainly has been hot and humid in Massachusetts this summer. It’s hard to argue against the warming of the planet given all of the record setting heat in recent years. However, I’m not convinced the warming of the earth is exclusively attributable to carbon emissions. The earth may be in a natural warming cycle similar to many other warming cycles that may have occurred over the history of the planet. This cycle may be followed, at some point down the road, by a cooling cycle. However, I concede I am not an expert and I concede I am not You. I lack extensive weather information and I likely lack the ability to process and analyze all the information if I had it. Perhaps the earth is heating because of human activity. However, there is one think I know for sure – You are in control of this earth. The earth will not heat one degree above or one degree below what You permit. The temperatures rise only with Your permission. The seas will advance beyond their borders only with Your permission. Storms unleash their power only by Your permission. Rain will still fall when You decide You want an area to be blessed with rain. Your Word tells us that there will be all four seasons up until the very last day of human history. Father, yes, forgive us for abusing the amazing creation You have given us. Intervene and save nature from ourselves. Save species from extinction because we don’t care for them. Teach us to be good stewards of the natural resources You have gifted to us. However, may we also not live in fear of changes to the environment. Nature is not a rudderless ship ready to crash on a reef. There is a God at the helm who has everything under His control. May Your people respond to global warming by surrendering their lives to You and getting on our knees and faithfully asking You to intervene and heal what is broken in our weather. In the meantime, please give grace to the children, the sick, and the elderly across the world who are struggling to survive in hot and humid conditions. Protect them. Watch over them. Give them shade, cool drinks, and relief from the heat. Amen.
Dear Father, on a day when I pray for a “tractor-trailer” accident in New Mexico, I will take a moment to bring before You all truck drivers across the nation. Over 10 million truckers are transporting raw materials, works in process, and finished goods between manufacturing plants, wholesalers, and retail distribution centers. They are also transporting construction supplies using “18-wheelers” and “semis”. Over 60% of all products shipped in America are shipped by truck drivers. The typical driver is away from his or her family for weeks. They work 14 hour days, driving, doing paperwork, making repairs, performing inspections, fueling their trucks, and sleeping at rest stops. An estimated 90% of these drivers own their own trucks and are self-employed, doing business with shipping companies and dispatchers. Their trucks utilize technology that improves productivity, reduces waiting times between loads, suggests the most efficient routes, and juggles multiple shipments to offer customers just-in-time shipping. While the new technology has helped the industry, it has not eased the stress on drivers. Truck drivers are five times more likely to die on the job than the average worker. The drivers are stressed about meeting deadlines. They are lonely. They must keep up the sales (shipping agreements) that their family depends upon. The population of long-haul truckers is aging and is not being replenished by young people. There is a high turnover rate for those truckers who work for shipping companies. Father, I ask this day that You will attend to the ministry needs of truckers across America. Raise up men and women in the church to minister to them. May Your people show truckers compassion, mercy, generosity, and kindness. May we welcome truckers passing through our communities into our churches. May we befriend them. I ask that You bless trucker ministries that exist throughout America. Give them the funding and the volunteers they need. May they experience fruit from their hard work. Connect them with truckers in need. I ask that You will attend to every trucker in America who is anxious, insecure, and lonely this very hour. Bring about their spiritual rescue. Thank You for their service and protect them on the highway today. Raise up a new generation to ship our goods and may that generation do so regularly encountering trucking ministries throughout America. Amen.