Will you join me in 24 hours of prayer for persecuted Christians?

pray persecuted churchTonight Kevin and I will lead a marriage group in our home. It seems so normal. Such an everyday thing to do. It makes my heart shudder that if we lived in another country, this might not be possible.

The news of Christians being beheaded, pulled out of their homes, and having other atrocities committed against them breaks my heart. I watch the news and I can hardly believe what I am hearing.

I racked my brain for things I could do to help. I suppose if we really wanted to, Kevin and I could go over there and fight. But that is not realistic, and I feel certain I would last all of 1 minute in a battle and certainly wouldn’t be helpful. So I had to sit down and think about what is realistic.

How can we help?

Living life in a way that honors Christ is one way of helping. But what else can we do?

What about 24 hours of prayer?

I minimized this idea at first. What could 24 hours of prayer on a measly platform such as I have accomplish?

But when I really thought about it, it is 24 additional hours of devoted prayer that would not happen should I choose to stand by and do nothing.

Now, it is not feasible for me at this time to pray for 24 hours solid, but what if I asked some friends? What if I used the small platform God has given me to grab at least 23 other people to join me. That is do-able.

I am committing to pray one hour between now and this coming Sunday for persecuted Christians around the world.

Would you commit for an hour too?

If 24 of us commit to at least an hour in between now and this Sunday I wonder what God could do with that? It may not seem like much, but I have seen God work, and He does a lot with a little. We may not see any impact this side of heaven, and that’s okay.  But if even one of our brothers or sisters across the world experienced God’s peace because we are praying for them – wouldn’t that be worth it?

If you are willing to pray for an hour in between now and Sunday, please comment below. Don’t know how or what to pray? Click here for ideas of verses and things to pray for.

Let’s see how many hours we can rack up!


the center of who you are…

instaquote-06-02-2015-19-43-42I have a weird job. There are days I’m squishing play dough with a sad 1st grader…days I’m addressing homicidal and suicidal thoughts with teenagers…and other days I do some of both and everything in between. I see the sheer innocence of childhood and the raw shrapnel of trauma.  Sometimes I get kids. Other times they shock me. Every new day brings adventure and a new shade of grey I haven’t seen before.

I know not everyone sees life the way I do. Not all mental health providers believe in God. Or maybe they do but they don’t pursue Him with fervent gusto. But me…when I see mental illness…I see Jesus.

Sounds weird right?

What I mean is…I see why Jesus came to die. I see the fragile balance of humanity. How quickly it can be taken and the delicate nature of sanity.

I know without a doubt that God’s design is perfect. But I see the invasion of evil that began thousands of years ago with a serpent and an apple.

And it breaks me.

My heart breaks over brothers and sisters suffering from anxiety, depression, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and so many other things. It seems so unfair. So uncertain. So beyond the human grasp that we try to understand but sometimes we just can’t.

And I believe that He breaks. He breaks over us…over and over again. Breaks to save us and pull us beyond the tight grasp of evil.

Mental illness stirs my heart and mind with questions. I know God could make it stop and heal the broken in a heartbeat. And with some He does…but others He doesn’t. It’s not mine to understand why or choose how. His ways are far beyond mine. But the lines get blurry. And all I can do is choose to remember that my job is to love.

Not superficially, but from the core of who I am. And that core is Jesus, who died for the sinner – broken, lost, and hurting – the least of these.

He ran from evil…but ran too people. Seeing past what was broken and into the healing.

I like working in mental health, in a weird it exhausts me sort of way, because it’s here I see the flux. The battle of spirit, mind, and soul.

I get to love no matter what, offering unconditional positive regard, for those who might not see Jesus any other way.

And what about you? You don’t have to work in mental health to love the broken. We all know somebody who struggles. Let’s decide to love them. Set boundaries. But love them.

From the center of who you are.