Dear Father, it is one thing to go shopping on Black Friday to benefit from sales. It is quite something else to push people out of the way, cheat to get ahead of the line, and punch another shopper who got the last toy on the shelf before you did. Father, such behaviors scream of “me, me, me”. Such behaviors scream of adolescence. Actually, not to offend adolescents, such behaviors seem more like the temper tantrums of toddlers. Father, we are born focused on ourselves. Without the turning of our hearts to You, we never turn from that self-centeredness. We may have adult bodies but we still lash out like children when we don’t get what we want. Father, those who behave like this in stores across the country are revealing their insecurities and anxieties. “If I don’t get this toy to appease my child, it will be the end of the world.” Their lives feel totally out of control. They are hoping that something that can be purchased can give them the peace they long for. No purchase, no peace. Father, break into the hearts and minds of each man or woman who panics about a purchase on Black Friday. Help them to see only You can satisfy their deep inner longing. Transform their thinking so that they can be compassionate, generous, and gracious to other shoppers. Father, give them the desire for the gifts that really matter – words of encouragement and acts of compassion that lead others to peace through You. Amen.
Dear Father, there are people who fear space rock “3200 Phaethon”. It is an asteroid that is to come within 2 million miles of the earth on December 17th. It is three miles wide and would cause catastrophic damage to this planet if it struck. “Oh, no! It’s us against an asteroid! There is no God! If God exists, He’s asleep! Our only chance for survival is that the human race needs to do something!” Father, the price to pay for denying You is to live in anxiety. If we doubt the existance of an all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign, and loving God, we fall victim to statistical chance and the randomness of asteroids loose in the universe. On the other hand, if we place our faith in You, we know that nothing is going to happen that an all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign, and loving God cannot control. If You decide You don’t want the asteroid to strike our planet, it doesn’t matter if an asteroid is on a collision course with us. You will do something to either prevent the cosmic collision or to mitigate the damage. Father, as long as Your church is still leading people to faith in Christ, You are not ready for a cataclysmic event. Father, use Your church today, this month, next month, next year, and for decades to come to lead people to faith in Jesus Christ. That work alone is all You need as a reason to direct asteroids away from earth. Father, protect us this planet from 3200 Phaethon. Amen.
Dear Father, Venezuela is struggling with a flare-up of malaria. There were 240,613 cases of the disease in 2016, up 76% from 2015. Father, experts believe an increase in mining in mosquito-infested areas attributes to the recent increase in cases. Many victims cannot afford the medications that effectively treat the illness. Father, I believe our enemy works in a variety of different ways to kill people before they’ve accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. This is another one of his efforts. Father, have mercy on the people of this region. Help the health authorities get this flare-up and the mosquito population under control. Bring medical supplies and health care workers to the patients. Bring about healing, not just for the individuals but also for this nation. Father, in particular, be generous and gracious to our brothers and sisters in Christ in this South American country. Watch over them and protect them. Amen.
Dear Father, the Church of Sweden, led by Archbishop Antje Jackelen, is asking its clergy to stop referring to You as a He. They want people to only use the word “God”. Male pronouns might hurt the feelings of people in the church. Father, the rebellion of mankind against You is active even in our “churches”. We are determined to define You the way we want to. If we don’t like something about You, we change who You are. We are so much smarter than our ancestors who worshiped Jesus Christ, the “Son” of God who spoke of “His” “Father” in heaven. Today’s progressive Christians know better than Jesus Christ. If only Christ were around today, we could bring Him (or her?) up to speed with our “enlightened” understanding of Christianity. Father, I believe this is an insidious plan by the enemy to make humans wimps. It takes strength of mind, fortitude, courage, and perseverance to have faith in God when life is difficult. Ah, but if everyone believes they can’t handle anything they don’t want to hear, it turns us all into weak, fearful, and spineless gobs of goo. We not only won’t have what it takes to trust God but we will also rollover and surrender whenever the enemy whispers into our ears. Father, the actions of the Church of Sweden will weaken, not strengthen, people’s faith in You. Father, be victorious in the Church of Sweden. Send Your Spirit into the nation and may “He” bring about a spiritual revival. Empower the genuine church in Sweden to courageously demonstrate their faith and their compassion for their neighbors in need. May such behaviors make all of Sweden rethink how amazing and wonderful their “Father” in heaven is. Amen.
Dear Father, at least 200 people died and 130 more were injured in a bombing and shooting attack on the al-Rawdah Sufi mosque in Bir al-Abd on the Sinai Peninsula. Apparently Islamist militants opened fire during prayers and then fled on off-rod vehicles. Father, I ask for Your mercy and grace on those who grieve the loss of loved ones. Extend Your compassion and mercy to the injured and their friends and family. Father, be victorious in this act of terror. Bring victims and their families to faith in Christ. May they encounter the amazing love of God and may that encounter transform them. Build Your church in that region through this incident. Father, may those who committed this crime be brought to justice. May they experience Your wrath. May those who participated in the shooting, who are now tormented by remorse and shame, find forgiveness and spiritual freedom through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Father, human suffering is caused by human rebellion from You. You call us to love others. If we obeyed You, there would be no bloodshed of innocent people. Father, do amazing things in the Sinai Peninsula and may the world take notice. Amen.