Prayer habit provides peace, perspective

By Brian McCrorie

Jan. 2 was the coldest day in Indianapolis since January 2014. In fact, as I write this Jan. 3, we’ve had eight days straight of sub-20-degree temperatures, which is the third longest, coldest streak since 1871.

But it’s really “hot” in other ways. We’re seemingly on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea. Political and racial tensions appear to be as high as I’ve ever seen. Traditional morals with regard to marriage, family and gender are constantly under attack. We continue to live in fear of terrorism. Our crime statistics are going up. In fact, in 2016, Indianapolis appeared for the first time on the list of the “Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in America Over 200,000” put out by the FBI.

So I was very blessed and encouraged to attend the 14th annual Statehouse Prayer Service on Jan. 3 along with 700-800 other Hoosiers. I am so thankful for my friend Matthew Barnes of Public Servants’ Prayer for organizing this event each year. Where else in America can one find a Christian prayer service in the Indiana Statehouse where the heads of legislative, executive and judicial branches actually lead in the prayers?

Gov. Eric Holcomb prayed for the executive branch to have humility, discernment and the mindset of a servant. Speaker of the House Brian Bosma prayed for the legislature to find common ground and civility in a divisive culture. Chief Justice Loretta Rush prayed that judges would have wisdom and remember that one day they too will stand at the bar of the Supreme Judge to give account.

Watching these and other Hoosier leaders take their turn bowing their heads before the King of Kings and asking for divine help did my heart much good. Prayer is one of the spiritual disciplines that is most important and yet seemingly most difficult to practice.

We are so self-sufficient, we humans. We can handle our day and all its troubles on our own, or so we think. Ministers like myself are called to follow in the apostles’ practice of being “devoted to prayer,” as all Christians are to be (Acts 6:4, Romans 12:12).

Praying to God acknowledges that we are not gods and that we need the one true God’s help and strength and guidance to find light in an ever-darkening world. And the good news is that God has given us such help in his book, the Bible.

As you start 2018, here’s a powerful resolution you can put into practice: read God’s love letter to you. Read the Scriptures. Find the light you so desperately need.

If you would like someone to read with you, contact me at bmccrorie@heatherhills.org, and I’ll put you in touch with one of our church members who would love to do exactly that.

And if you are a Christian, resolve to pray, to talk to God, more and more each day. It will help you know what to do in every conceivable situation, how to endure trials and how to serve others in this world. It will also quiet your heart, console your griefs, minimize your complaints and quash your worries.

Let’s make 2018 a year of prayer, a year of making God the most important person in our lives. He deserves it.

Brian McCrorie is senior pastor of Heather Hills Baptist Church in Cumberland. This weekly column is written by local clergy members. Send comments to dr-editorial@greenfieldreporter.com