Then I remembered the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17, whose last remaining jar of flour and jug of oil kept flowing without running out. So I dared to pray a crazy prayer: that the monthly food packages we deliver would stretch to feed extra mouths, and that in places where we or others can’t deliver, scarce supplies would be miraculously multiplied.
We may never know if such prayers are answered. We’ll likely only hear about the attacks that do happen, not the many that failed, and the people who continue to be in need, not the many whose needs were wonderfully met.
But small, incremental prayers about small things might just add up over time. I am convinced that in the years to come many extraordinary stories will emerge from this crisis, of provision when resources were scarce, of protection from attacks, and even of hearts turned away from violence. We are already hearing some such stories on the ground.
I often think of a quote from Mother Teresa: ‘We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.’
A lot of bullets will be fired today in this broken region. But just imagine that because of your small prayer, one less bullet may be fired. One more person may receive aid. One more family may even find the security and resources to stay, rather than make a treacherous journey. And one boat less might sink.
This is not about my prayers, or yours. It’s about our prayers. Together, their cumulative effect and the actions of a Sovereign God could just turn the tide.
Is there anything small that you can think to pray for the Middle East, just for today?