Prayer prevails in an economic crisis

Judging From reports of the swings in the financial markets in the United States and abroad, the home mortgage situation, and the banks that are failing, there's plenty that people are concerned about. But the call for prayer is even worthier of our attention—to support those who are working night and day to find solutions and to affirm God's care for all those struggling with these conditions. In short, now is the time to take Jesus' advice and really love our neighbors. Even if each of us makes only a small contribution in that direction, it will make a big difference.

While this column was being prepared, an individual who wished not to be named, and whose position has required him to watch US and global financial activities for many years, offered these thoughts: "Financial markets hang on trust that participants will be able to deal with each other in a straightforward, responsible way. To a large extent, that trust has been broken through overly fancy, securitized assets that are much riskier than advertised. ...In theory, it will take time to restore that trust. But there are intelligent ways to rebuild confidence in these securities. I should think that prayers for God's wisdom should be helpful."

Fear can be a major impediment to trust, but there is a point when one has to take a stand, to lay out some ground rules for reestablishing trust. The book of Isaiah provides a foundation for such a stand: "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him" (59:19).

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Healing opportunities
August 25, 2008

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