Between the Words ... Pastor Jimâ€™s Perspectives
By Jim GarrettSeptember 9, 2020
I remember back on September 11, 2001. I was pastoring in Ashland, OH and was working from the house—and I got phone calls from both of my daughters who were in college in Cleveland, TN. (At the time, our son was a high school student in Ashland.) Because I am not much a news watcher, I had no idea what was taking place, but as both daughters called me, and because they were eight hours away, I suddenly was tremendously aware, alert, scared, and didn’t know what to do – but I was praying up quickly.
It was a terrorist attack on US soil.
And many of us know exactly where we were and what we were doing at the moment.
But again, for me, I was most immediately concerned about my two precious daughters that I could not help nor could I be with them in less than eight hours (and if you remember, there was no air travel for then and the next few days.)
I was aware.
I was alert.
I was scared.
And I didn’t know what to do.
So I did what we all did in that moment.
And I opened up our church and called for a time of prayer for our Ashland community.
And people came.
And people united.
And people prayed...
...for a few days...
...and then life kind of went back to normal—at least as far as church, and prayer, and unity were all concerned.
But for those few days, the indications of revival poked their heads through the soil.
For those few days, unity was important .
For those few days, God was corporately noticed again in our community.
It took a heart-stopping tragedy to get our attention.
It took a moment of apparent eternal destiny to cause us to focus on God...
...for a few days...
...and things went back to normal (somewhat).
I wonder if it is innate within us that we require tragedy to cause us to focus on God.
I wonder if a date with destiny must be obviously in front of us to compel us to pray with everything within us.
These are a few thoughts to ponder as I present this Scripture to you all—and I ask—what’s it going to take—to get us to pray with such fervor again?
I am praying for revival
for our church
and for our land.
Will you join me in prayer?
… if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV).