Determining whether someone is going through a challenging season or not is difficult when the only time we see them is on a Sunday morning. The battles they endured Monday through Saturday are almost invisible when they walk into the church building with a wide grin on their face, telling other members of the Church that “God is Good.” However, we are without a doubt in a completely different time, and we know that there’s not one person who is not being affected by these horrific events that have troubled the entire planet. It is our duty as followers of Jesus to use this time to emphasize the vitality of humility and vulnerability in order to be the community God commands us to be.
In John 33:16 The Lord says ” In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome this world.” This verse is extremely encouraging while still having a sobering effect on us believers of Christ. God does not say you “may” have trouble, he says you will have trouble, and this truth about ourselves and others should drive us to express those hardships with our fellow believers so that others can join us in battles we don’t have to fight on our own. Prayer can never fail us, and the power of prayer is reiterated to us all throughout the Word of God. James 5:16 tells us, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Not only does God tell us that prayer is a mighty weapon, but that prayer should be never-ending and we should always keep the needs of other believers in mind as we speak to the Lord. Ephesians 6:18 says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for the Lord’s people.”
Being vulnerable is already very difficult, and the habits instilled in us by social media and our society that encourage us to solely share the parts of our life that make us look “good” — has affected church deeply. We don’t want to seem like the person who thinks their issues possess more importance than the obstacles of others, which is completely understandable; however, being dismissive of the inevitable troubles we must face does not help us or the believers around us who should be praying for us. We all have our right to privacy, and not all things may be comfortable to share, but giving someone a vague description of what to pray for is always better than nothing. God still hears those prayers, and God still knows every detail of your life and the life of the ones you are praying for. We may not know what the future holds for this world and our own personal lives, but Romans 12:12 gives us sound advice for uncertain moments like these, telling us to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
— Jonathan Kabongo