Dear Father, it has been reported today that 11 people, including children, drowned last night in a duck boat disaster on Table Rock Lake in Branson, MO. Seven people remain hospitalized, two in critical condition. The duck boat capsized after being struck by winds exceeding 60 mph. Father, please be very present in the lives of all who are suffering because of this disaster. Help the injured to heal. Comfort those who lost loved ones. Walk with them through their grief. Help all to heal emotionally who experienced the trauma of the event. Father, turn this tragedy into a blessing for each family impacted by it. Use Your church to show compassion on those who are suffering. Give the victims reasons to thank You for how You take care of them during this nightmare. Father, may each person involved take time to consider life and death and to be drawn into a personal relationship with You. Amen.
Dear Father, William Shatner, 87, became famous in the 1960s in his role as Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise on the television show Star Trek. He also starred in T.J. Hooker in the 1980s and hosted Rescue 911 in the 1990s. In the 2000s, he was a leading character in The Practice and Boston Legal. He has won two Emmy Awards throughout his career. He is an author, screenwriter, director, pitchman, and musician. He also enjoys horses. He is in the news today because of reports of fans who are complaining that Shatner refuses to sign autographs. Shatner has admitted to his decision to refuse all autograph requests that are not at a convention. His decision is based on his desire for privacy and to avoid the awkwardness of having to say “no” to people who have lined up after he signed an autograph for someone. Father, You created William Shatner. You long to have a personal relationship with Him. He is now 87 years old and his days are short. Father, work in his life and may he have a life transforming spiritual encounter with You. May he understand his need to make things right with You before he passes away. Lead godly people into his life who will lead him into a new life in Christ. Father, be merciful to him today and shower him with your grace. Amen.
Dear Father, we were designed to give You praise. We were never designed to receive praise. When we do, we can’t handle it. Many celebrities have struggled with drug and alcohol addiction because of their inability to handle the praise and worship of others. They know in their hearts they don’t deserve it. Not only do the celebrities struggle with fame, their children do as well. An article this morning has reported on the personal crises of the children of five celebrities. Country singer Wyonna Judd’s 22-year-old daughter Grace Kelley is serving eight years in the West Tennessee State Penitentiary for violating probation for a drug conviction. Jackie Chan’s son Jaycee has served jail time on different occasions for possession of an illegal substance. Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neal’s son Redmond O’Neal was charged with attempted murder in June after he randomly attacked people in Los Angeles. Noelle Bush, the daughter of former governor of Florida Jeb Bush, was arrested for attempting to illegally obtain Xanax. She had a long history struggling with drugs. It has been reported that she is recovering from her addictions and has stayed out of legal trouble recently. Tom Hanks’ son Chet was allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he was involved in an auto collision that injured a Terry Moogan. Moogan has sued the Hanks family for allowing Chet to drive with a history of drug and alcohol abuse. It has been reported that Chet has changed his life around and is now appearing regularly in television shows. Father, I lift each of these five people to Your attention today. Work in the lives of Grace Kelley, Jaycee Chan, Redmond O’Neal, Noelle Bush, and Chet Hanks in such a manner that each one of them one day enjoys a personal relationship with You. Bring about their spiritual transformation. Give them hope and peace through You. Create a story of recovery and restoration in all five of these lives, a story that leads others to place their faith in You. Amen.
Dear Father, it has been reported that San Francisco is experiencing a growing problem with discarded drug needles and piles of human feces on downtown public streets and parks. Newly elected mayor London Breed is asking homeless advocay organizations to teach the homeless to be more responsible. Health experts fear that San Francisco could soon have problems with cholera, viral infections, hepatitis A, and parasitic diseases as rainwater spreads fecal matter onto sidewalks and onto the soles of the shoes of pedestrians who then walk into their homes and offices. Father, it has been thousands of years now that humans have rebelled from You. Billions of citizens across the globe have been “educated”. Governments have spent trillions of dollars to correct social issues. However, here we are – deep in excrement because humans are incapable of building a healthy society without devoting ourselves to You. Father, I ask that You will step in and clean up this problem in San Francisco. Rescue the drug abusers and the homeless who live on San Francisco’s streets. Bring salvation to them. Bring about their spiritual transformation. Get them back on their feet and into stable housing and employment. Give them recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Use Your church to show might acts of compassion for the needy. Give the government of San Francisco the wisdom, courage, and resources it needs to clean up this problem promptly. I ask that You will protect the population from disease, especially those who have surrendered their lives to You. Father, we don’t deserve Your kindness but we need it so very much. Have mercy on San Francisco this day. Amen.
Dear Father, the water wars in Arizona are an illustration as to why we need You to solve our problems. There are an estimated 37 aquifers around the world. An aquifer is a body of water below ground that is embedded in permeable earth and rock. It is believed that some of these aquifers hold water that is over 20,000 years old. In areas where surface water is hard to find, wells hundreds of feet deep are drilled in order to pump out groundwater for use in private homes and for irrigation in farming. Historically, the state of Arizona, located in an arid area, has not regulated the drilling of wells or the use of water from aquifers. The region’s year-round growing season and the lack of regulation has attracted major agriculture corporations, some from the Middle East, to move into region and setup large farms. They have bored hundreds of holes thousands of feet deep to irrigate crops such as pecans and pistachios that require a lot of water. One farm is reported to have pumped 22 billion gallons out of the ground in one year alone, more than enough water to fill every bottle of water sold in one year across the country. Combined with a drought in the region and the use of wells by family farmers and private citizens, the aquifer is becoming dry. Many residents are trying to survive by rationing a mere 10% of the water needed for normal living. They cannot afford to spend the $ 15,000 to $ 30,000 required to dig holes 3,000 feet deep where experts believe there is a 6 quintillion gallon supply of water. The crisis has created intense conflict between residents, local farmers, and the big agriculture corporations. Even if the region receives an abundance of rain, experts believe it can take up to 6,000 years for the aquifer to be restored to full capacity. While some are profiting from the water crisis by trucking in water for residents and farmers, most people are suffering financially because of the crisis. People cannot afford the costs of shipping in water. The lack of water and the threat of government restrictions on well use makes it difficult for homeowners to sell their properties. As a result, many people have simply abandoned their homes, moving to areas where water is more readily available. This is apparently a global Geo-political problem as 21 of the world’s aquifers are running out of water. Saudi Arabia is said to have abandoned agriculture because there simply is not enough water available to irrigate crops. They need to import food and water from overseas. Some experts have predicted that future wars will be fought over access to water. Father, this is a problem that can only be solved by You. Mankind does not have the resources or the political will to devise a solution that all can agree to. Father, we need You to provide us with water we need to drink, to bathe, and to irrigate our crops. We need You to be merciful to the people living in the U.S. southwest region. Get them water in both the short-term and in the long-term. I know – we cannot ask You for water and then forget about You once You provide it. The population of Arizona needs to recommit their lives to You in response to Your generosity. Father, work on a spiritual revival in the region and then pour out both spiritual and physical water for everyone in Arizona. Amen.