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Praying for Christopher Hitchens

David Brog:

“When I heard the sad news that Christopher Hitchens had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, I did what I typically do upon learning of someone’s illness: I said a silent prayer for his recovery. Call it habit, hope, or faith — but this is what I do. While I could not disagree more with this fierce critic of the Judeo-Christian tradition, I also recognize that Hitchens is not a bad man. He’s never employed or condoned violence in furtherance of his atheism. I can wish for him physical health and personal happiness even while I fight with everything I’ve got against what he stands for. Our hearts should be big enough to rise above the petty.”

Indeed.

Some things that we can specifically pray for:

– that Hitchens might see that the Gospel enables us to grieve over our enemies calamities (Proverbs 24:17) and seek their relief (Exodus 23:4).
– that his pain would lead not to worldly sorrow, but a Godly sorrow that both brings repentance and leads to his salvation (2 Cor 7:10).
– that God’s grace would be shown to be greater than his sinfulness (Romans 5:15-21) and can rescue even those who are objects of His wrath (Ephesians 2:3).
– that he might see that the Gospel does not gloss over sin, nor see justice as unimportant (Romans 3:26), but frees us from harbouring thoughts of retaliation (1 Peter 2:23b) and enables us to truly love even those who hurt the church (Matt 5:44).
– that he might be snatched from the fire (Jude 23) for God’s salvation is better than destruction (Psalm 30:9, Isaiah 38:18).

Pray for Haiti

If you haven’t heard, Haiti was today shaken by one of the strongest earthquakes the Carribbean country has seen in more than 200 years. The shallow, 7.0 magnitude earthquake centered around 16km from the capital, Port-au-Prince, and the death toll is rumoured to be in the thousands. It’s difficult to imagine what the people over there are facing and our thoughts and prayers go out to them. Even for a nation whose history already seems like one long heartbreak, from despotism to destitution, this tragedy looks to be utterly devastating.

Here are some options for donating towards the disaster relief:

TEAR Fund

World Vision

Habitat for Humanity

Oxfam NZ

UNICEF NZ

Save the Children

Samaritan’s Purse

Compassion International

Feed My Starving Children

Food for the Hungry

World Relief

Love a Child

Northwest Haiti Christian Mission

(Photo by Lisandro Suero / AFP-Getty Images)