The Least You Can Do

August 30, 2012

in Everyday Fruit,Everyday Mission,Prayer

Lord, as I flip the pancakes and spoon the oatmeal this morning for kids that promise me they’re ‘starving,’ I pray for those sweet children who actually are.  Where are they now Lord?  The statistics say that 13 out of every 100 human beings is malnourished.

And you know them all, all 854 million of them. Lord, what can we do for them?  How do we find our way through the red tape and the dangerous borders to get food to them?

As we eat cheese and chicken and watermelon at lunch and the kids ask for seconds and I can almost always say, ‘yes,’ I  pray especially for those who are hungry because they hunger most for righteousness.

I pray for the aunt who’s eating less because she’s saving all her food for the orphans in her care.  I pray for the pastor who sacrifices work days so he can travel to the mountains to share your good news.  I pray for the Christian family who’s excluded from the feasts and the harvests because they’ve associated themselves with you.

Lord, those who hunger for you will be filled.  Fill them today, Lord.

‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat…’  Matthew 25:35a

Lord as I fill the pot for tea this morning, I pray for them-those girls and mamas that will walk miles today before they’ll find the spot to dig for clean water.  I pray for the babies that are sick because their water isn’t clean, and for the mamas who have no way to make it better.

When the kids all ask for more water and cups to be filled, I pray especially for those who aren’t welcome at the well because they have drank from your spring.  For those who have nothing but empty cups, I pray You’ll somehow satisfy them.  I pray You’d somehow bring the satisfied church here to the thirsty church there-all of us who know what it’s like to drink from Your fountain that never runs dry.

Bring us to those who are thirsty and help us know how to help-in your name.

‘…I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…’  Matthew 25:35b

Lord, as we drive in and open the door and the kids shout it, ‘We’re home,’ I pray Lord for those who wonder where ‘home’ might be.  Are there really 33 million displaced people in this world?

I know you see them, Lord, living in tents and temporary shelters, moving and being moved, and rarely feeling physically safe.

As I vacuum the floor and sweep the crumbs, I pray especially for those who’ve lost their home because they chose to find their home in You.  Lord, for those whose homes have been burned or ransacked or destroyed, I pray especially for them.

Would you help all of us here, who have both you and a home, somehow leave our safety in order to give some to them?

And in the meantime, and ever more, would you be true shelter to them,  would you let them feel the real safety that comes from feeling closer to You?

‘I was a stranger and you invited me in…’

Lord, you say our care for the least of these is the least we can do for all that You have done for us.  And I confess I don’t know where to start.  In these days when my hands already feel too full, I’m wondering what I need to let go of so that I might grab on to what really counts.

I don’t know where else to start but here, Lord, know where to go but to You, first and always.  So, as I’m busy here, I pray for prayers for all those hurting out there.

This is really the least I can do, but somehow, as I say ‘Amen,’ calling on the God who knows each and every one of the least of these, I feel like I’ve done more for them than I thought possible.

Oh Lord, teach us to pray.

‘You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.’  John Bunyan

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