But In Everything, Pt. 2

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless.
I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping.
It doesn't change God- it changes me.” ― C.S. Lewis

Last month I wrote about prayer and the affect it can have as you learn to fully trust the Lord with control of your life, to move towards being "useful to the cause of Christ" no matter what the circumstances. However, it quickly turned into a two-part post, because as I sat there, I kept thinking about WWII.

The skeptics of prayer making a difference might point out the atrocities that occurred in the concentration camps of Europe, the post-war work camps of Siberia, and the heinous crimes committed on the Pacific front. They might well ask what happened to the prayers of the "righteous" when children were being gassed to death in Auschwitz. In fact, despite people earnestly praying for the removal of Adolf Hitler and the cessation of mindless killing, it went on for years and took the sacrifice of the Allied forces to stop the evil that was occurring around the world. Millions of Jews (and those who helped them) were slaughtered, despite the prayers of righteous men and women, and in the end, what were the good results?

"Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?"  — Corrie Ten Boom

I believe one positive aspect that continues to this day is the the encouragement that we, as Christians, receive from the lives of men and women like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Corrie and Betsie ten Boom; those followers of Christ who not only opposed what was happening, but risked - and even gave - their lives to help others. They chose to be "useful to the cause of Christ", no matter what the cost.

Betsie was able to keep a positive outlook because she kept her focus on the Lord, despite her circumstances. She even gave thanks for the fleas that kept the guards from searching their barracks in the concentration camp, thus giving the ten Boom sisters more freedom to hold Bible studies and share the Love of Christ. When Dietrich Bonhoeffer was faced with the opportunity of safety in America or possible death by returning to Germany, he chose to return so that he might help others in the name of Jesus.

"What wings are to a bird, and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul."  — Corrie Ten Boom

Oh yes, I can be as skeptical of prayer as the most unbelieveing among us. If you look around the world, you can find pain and suffering in every corner of the globe. Fathers and mothers who have prayed for the healing of their dying child, receiving the news that your spouse has cancer, watching aging parents who grow more forgetful - it's hard.

But the bottom line is that these things happen because we live in a fallen world - the result of sin entering through the disobedience of man. God didn't create the world with the intention that we would deal with the heartache and pain, but He chose to create the world anyway, despite knowing the ending. He created us with a free will, even though He knew that it would eventually bring about the need to sacrifice His only Son so that we would have a way to fellowship with Him again.

So where does that leave those of us who struggle with prayer?

To Be Continued...

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