Among the chaos in the news headlines this last week, there was a small news clip of significant impact. A church bus crashed returning home to North Carolina after a three-day Jubilee celebration in Gatlinburg, TN. The bus blew a tire and hit an SUV and a tractor-trailer. Eight people lost their lives.
News like this makes me stop in my tracks. Sometimes it makes me question, just for a moment, the essence of my prayers. Surely those people were praying for safe travels. What happened to their prayers? Why such a senseless accident?
I am reminded back to a story I wrote a few months earlier called The Finish Line, after a co-worker had suddenly died in a tragedy. The fact is, tragedies happen every day to good people who do not deserve it. And another fact is, we will all face death in our lifetime. For some of us, we may get to run a marathon in life, others run a 5K or 10K race, and others only a short sprint. But we will all cross that finish line, so the question really becomes: Will we finish well?
If we think for just a moment about where we will be when we eventually face death and what will be our situation, I would like to think that being on a church bus, surrounded by Christian friends, coming back from a Christian Jubilee concert would be one of the top ways I would want to meet God.
So what becomes of all our prayers? Sometimes daily prayers seem more like requests or wishful thinking, but they are actually much larger than that. Here is the best explaination I have found on prayer:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Prayer is literally being in the presence of God. When we pray, we are talking directly to Him. Prayer is the mechanism which allows God to give us a Peace beyond our understanding, beyond anything else we have on this earth.
We will never have all the answers this side of Heaven, but I know that I want to be at my best when I do meet my Creator for the first time. Ultimately, it is my prayer that I finish well. And I think the people on that church bus were greeted by the most glorious of angels on their day.