Welcome to Take Every Thought to Prayer
By Charles Wagner, founder of Gramazin,
72Stories, Gramazin Prayers for the World


#757 - Participating in Short-Term Missions Trips
Volume 2 - Prayers to Love Our Neighbor

Dear Father, I live in an insulated and isolated world. My world view is clouded by my suburban residential life. My house looks like my neighbor's houses. We take our recycling to the sidewalk once a week in identical cans. Our lawns are immaculate. Each of us drives either a BMW, a Mercedes, or a Lexus. We meet regularly in popular local restaurants, at our children's private school play, or on the golf course. We talk about our spouses, our children, our jobs, or our golf handicap. A few hundred miles away, a family is on their third day eating out of a box of cereal. A piece of plywood was hastily nailed to a window frame to keep the wind out of the musty kitchen. They may be able to get medicine next week, depending if their neighbor down the street will give them firewood. The family sleeps in the master bedroom because the second bedroom floor is sagging into the foundation. Father, this family's crisis is not just immediate. It is chronic. They need intervention. They need mercy. They need more than cash to buy food. They need repair on their house that they cannot afford. They cry out to You for help. How do You answer their prayer? You move people to act in that suburban neighborhood hundreds of miles away. Funds are donated and supplies are purchased. Electricians, plumbers, and carpenters volunteer their time. A church van is packed. Why us? Why can't some other neighborhood be moved to help this family? Because there is something broken in our hearts, even as we enjoy our backyard pools. We need to understand gratefulness in a whole new way. We need to see what true poverty is like. You call us to short-term missions not just to help families in crisis. You call us to short-term missions because our hearts are in crisis. We haven't cared for anyone but ourselves. Father, humble us by helping us uplift people who feel humiliated. Begin to build in us today a spirit of compassion and grace that leads to a lifestyle of generosity. Families like this need long-term solutions. My heart needs a longterm ministry to remove my indifference. Help us to have a safe round trip on this short-term mission and may You write incredible testimonies on our hearts this week. Amen.

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