The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 a very simple command to Christians, “Pray without ceasing.” The attitude of prayer is one that characterizes the believer, even though—to many people—the exercise appears futile if not outright naïve. Yet, prayer may, in fact, be the most important and most effective thing we can do. Especially, prayer may be the most important thing we can do right now for Japan. Going there would only create a further strain on dwindling resources. We cannot go. But we can pray.
One Christian lady speaking of the situation in Japan says,
All of us around the world can be there in prayer. Although it doesn’t make sense in human terms, perhaps the way that most of us can make the most significant contribution for the time being is to pray because the lives of others both physically and spiritually depend on it.
She is correct. We can contribute to the relief of the people of Japan through our prayers. Because of the work of Christ as our high priest, we can enter the holy place and make our requests known to God. We must be in prayer for the families who have lost so much—that they might gain the reward of redemption. Our God who delivered Christ over to the worst sin and death ever executed is able—as he displayed in Christ—to redeem the worst scenario into an eternal victory. From an eternal perspective, there remains hope. So, we must pray.
We must pray for the workers who are on the ground, for their strength, their endurance, and their witness. May the Lord give them strong hands and a mighty tongue with which to serve both physical and spiritual needs. Let us pray indeed that great love would be poured out through the resources of many nations and—more importantly—many Christians and their churches.
We can also give thanks to God. According to this article, Baptists are already on the ground in Japan, assessing both the scale of the damage and the scope of the relief effort. Baptist Global Response is developing a strategy to provide disaster relief on behalf of Christians in Japan. Without ceremony, fanfare, applause, or even thanks, Christians are already pouring out their money and their lives to serve the needy people of Japan. So, be encouraged. The world may mock us, hate us, disparage us, and demean our efforts to speak—but it does not matter, and it will not deter us from serving others with love. We are free to love God and love others—regardless of whether others ever return love to us. We are free. For that, we can be thankful.
If you are interested in helping Japan in a way that will use 100% of your donations to relief, then check out the BGR/IMB work that is already unfolding. Volunteers do all the work. Christians are remarkably efficient at handling disaster relief. So, keep up with the work we are doing in Japan. Join in if you can. And, remember, pray without ceasing.