Our pastor has been working on a committee to do something in our community for the National Day of Prayer. I suppose things like this have their place, but to be honest, the world is in such bad shape that I can't help but wonder if they do any good. What do you think? — T.M.
Today (May 3) is the annual National Day of Prayer—and it's precisely because our world is in such bad shape that we need to come together and pray for our nation and our world. The Bible's words are true: "The prayer of a righteous man (or woman) is powerful and effective" (James 5:16).
You are right: Our world is filled with conflicts and injustices and we must not be complacent about them. But have you ever thought about how much worse the world might be if God's people refused to pray? If God were to remove His restraining hand from our world, evil and injustice would triumph—and the world would be even worse off than it is today.
But that is not God's will. God's will is for us to do what we can to turn back evil and sin, and make this world a better place. The people of Jeremiah's time faced terrible days—destruction of their homeland, slavery, and finally exile. But God still told them to "seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper" (Jeremiah 29:7).
Take time today to pray. Pray for our nation and its leaders, and the leaders of other nations as well—even those who oppose us. Pray also for those who are serving our nation in the military. God alone is the answer to our world's problems.