How to Pray When Words Won’t Come: A Prayer for the Philippines

Photo from Associated Press

Photo from Associated Press

The following is a prayer written by a friend of mine, living in the Philippines. Along with Melody, her family and many others, I am praying this prayer for them. Will you join us?

In Melody’s words: “With unprecedented force, Haiyan is possibly the most powerful typhoon ever recorded… ever. The full impact is still being revealed, but thousands were killed and many towns and villages decimated. We were spared here in Manila, but our hearts grieve with this country. “

Photo from Melody

Photo from Melody

Melody’s Prayer

I hardly know how to pray, Lord, for faces (seen and unseen) whose names I do not know. But You know every one, see their need, understand their sorrow. Help me to pray.

I hardly know how to grieve, Lord, for all the lives lost and all the lives never the same. But You, Lord, grieved with Mary and Martha even when you knew resurrection was just around the corner. You know and care deeply about the pain in every heart. So help me to grieve, Lord — with You, with this nation, and with each heart that bleeds.

I hardly know what to do, Lord, when what is needed most is in the hands of other people. Resources, coordination, infrastructure to deliver relief assistance. But You, Lord, know exactly what is needed, and when, and by whom. Help me to do what is mine to do, and pray for others as they do what is theirs to do.

Lord of impossible resurrections, please cause Your kingdom to come and Your will to be done amid this chaos. Pour Your mighty strength into and through Your servants (those who know they serve You, and those who don’t), that they may serve the hurting in Your name even as they themselves are hurting, too. And give all of us strength and commitment to keep doing our part — praying, giving, caring in the name of the One who first cared for us.

In Jesus name,


“Thanks so much for your prayers with us. I imagine the incense rising before the Throne, and believe our loving Father is moved by the heartfelt cries of His children that echo His own heart desire to touch and comfort the victims of this disaster.” –Melody


Mission to the World Global Disaster Response

A way you can help In response to this disaster:

Confia en Dios!

“Confia en Dios!” I heard those words everyday by the sweet and resounding voices of children, exclaiming very loudly and heard on the streets beyond the concrete walls. I, too, repeated those words over and over again throughout the week. When I woke up in the morning and as I fell asleep at night. “Confia en Dios!”

Trust in God. Trust in God, no matter what.

I just returned from a fantastic week of adventure in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, MX. What a privilege it was to be at Iglesia Bethel (in the above photograph) and help with a basketball camp, VBS, and serve the community. It was the most fun I’ve had on a missions trip in a very long time. Actually, it’s been a very long time since I’ve gone on a missions trip!

My husband has been to Monterrey much more than I have. For years he has encouraged me to go and see how God is working in the communities through the church planting efforts that we are passionate about. I usually had a number of good reasons or excuses for not going, but at this particular time I felt called to go…the persistent thought to stop delaying the inevitable–just GO! After a lot of prayer and pushing aside the rush of anxiety about the unknown, I purchased a round trip flight to Monterrey, MX. Now I was definitely committed!

On the way to the airport, my husband asked what I hoped to learn and what I hoped to accomplish while there. I replied that I didn’t have expectations for accomplishing anything, however I did hope that God would accomplish something unique and extraordinary in me. I was going to see first hand how God has answered our prayers, to celebrate the growing ministry of Bethel in their community of Apodaca and to live in the midst of life-on-life ministry for a fast and furious week. I wanted to experience traveling with a group of people whom I hardly knew and to hang out with Mexicans that I’ve never met before and [attempt to] communicate with them when I don’t know Spanish.

I am humbled by the generosity of the family I lived with and the extraordinary gift of God’s grace that was evident every moment of the day. The adventure was fantastic…more than I ever imagined! I hope to return to Monterrey to see the smiling faces of my new friends, to sweat together while running around a park with children from the neighborhood, to break bread and commune in fellowship.

There is too much to unpack about the week in a few paragraphs here and I’m sure I will write about the lessons God taught me in the weeks to come.  And regarding “unpacking” stuff…my suitcase was full of items that I never used! I have a long list of, “What not to pack” (FYI: no need to bring a roll of toilet paper or a small personal fan!)

While there, I met Sam Ferrand, a photographer documenting the church planting efforts of Mission to the World in Monterrey, MX. I love how she writes about Monterrey, photographs the mountainous landscape, while capturing the essence of a neighborhood and the precious expressions of lovely people. Check out her blog here: Keep Calm and Drink Teaquilla!

You may also enjoy reading these posts I wrote about preparing for this trip:

Imagine the Adventure!

A Simple Devotional About More:

To Be Present:

Here are a few photos from the week:

Imagine the Adventure!

What if you were the only one to go?

What if you were the only one to go?

“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.’ I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

In less than six weeks, I will impart on an adventure to another part of the world. Not too far away…I’m not leaving our continent but far enough to need a passport. The airline ticket is purchased. Survival kit for the backpack is coming together–band-aids, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, bug spray, fiber bars and toilet paper. I know how that sounds, but it’s the nasty disturbing uncomfortable things about adventures that concerns me.

I imagine the time away from home will be a challenge at first. Such as the heat, the crowded spaces, the heat, the smells, the heat, the language barrier and the heat. I am planning on sweating a lot.

They were looking for someone to share in an adventure, but it seemed difficult to find anyone. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been reminded, “The harvest is huge. But there are only a few workers.” (Matthew 9:37) Those words are usually preached by the ones who have already experienced adventures, like the one I am about to have. They know the beauty of bright eyes, happy smiles, laughter and hugs from grateful people.

I think with any adventure as this one, we imagine and anticipate seeing evidence of changed hearts and lives in the people we serve. I hope that happens. But actually, I think the evidence of change will be seen more in my own heart and life. I will leave that place but that place will leave with me.

Linking up with everyone for Five Minute Friday, where a remarkably encouraging community gathers to write for five minutes. This week’s prompt is: IMAGINE.