IVP - Online Pulpit - Brought to Our Knees - A Retrospective

September 15, 2007

Brought to Our Knees - A Retrospective

On the evening of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, over one hundred people spontaneously came to my church to pray. All through the night the church was open for prayer, and the next evening another hundred people came to pray, giving up their dinner to do so! There was no announcement in the Sunday bulletin. There was no sign-up. There was no program planned.

When the World Trade Center buildings came down, the entire nation was brought to its knees. The members of my church were among those brought down. Everywhere you turned (or tuned!) people were praying or talking about prayer.

What is it about such tragedy that brings us to our knees? The horror of 9/11 made it universally clear that there is very little in life we can be absolutely certain of. Security, whether physical or financial, is very illusive. In a matter of seconds one of our great cultural symbols was destroyed, and along with it the lives of over two thousand people. It’s hard for us to imagine such loss. No one yet knows how many of the living are physically and emotionally scarred for life by the events of that day.

When our sense of security is shaken, we turn to the only thing that can be depended on—no matter what our circumstances—God. In times like these we recognize that we are helpless and that we desperately need to be connected with something—Someone—that cannot be shaken. We, who are so independent, recognize our absolute dependence on God. So we pray.

Truth is, we are always absolutely dependent on God. We just don’t recognize it all of the time. God was all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing and absolutely dependable before 9/11. It’s just that many of us didn’t acknowledge it. Political power and financial wealth were very tenuous before 9/11; but many of us didn’t admit it. We needed God’s control of our lives before 9/11; we just didnt think so.

We needed to be on our knees before that fateful day. Every day of our lives—every moment of every day—we need to acknowledge that God is God and there is no other beside him. If only we can learn from this tragedy to be God-dependent all of the time! How different out lives would be if prayer—turning to God, depending on God—was like breathing for us. Before we left the house in the morning, we’d pray. Before we talked to someone we are in conflict with, we’d pray. Before we started a task at work, or made a decision about our kids, or decided how to spend our money, we’d pray. Just imagine how different our lives might be if our God-dependence was acknowledged before things came tumbling down! We need to be on our knees all of the time.

I’m sure there were many lessons learned from the events of September 11, 2001. Certainly, this one is at the top of the list—Christians need to be praying people. Let’s not forget what we have learned. We need to openly and regularly acknowledge our absolute dependence on the Lord. Let’s see what God can do with a church on its knees.

Posted by Candie Blankman at September 15, 2007 8:55 AM Bookmark and Share

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