Helpless but not Hopless

I lift up my eyes to the hills.

    From where does my help come? 

My help comes from the Lord,

    who made heaven and earth.   –Psalm 121:1-2

Dear brothers and sisters.  We are living in an unprecedented time in the history of our country.  We are fighting an invisible enemy that has not only killed many people but has shut down an entire economy and changed our way of living, even affecting our gathering together to worship our Lord.  Many of us (and yes Christians are not immune to this) may look around at our condition and feel utterly helpless.  We see our retirement savings dwindle at a shocking rate; we see our jobs vanishing and our businesses going under; we see our friends and coworkers getting sick and some dying.  Some of us have no idea how we will pay next month’s rent or put food on the table, while our politicians bicker about what to do.

And we feel helpless!

But you know what?  Our helplessness is the exact thing that God wants to see in us when we come to Him in prayer.  We don’t pray with all our being when we feel that we have control over our lives, our health, and our incomes.  But when we know and feel that we are utterly helpless, then our prayers truly become effective.  You see, prayer and helplessness are inseparable and when we are helpless, we can truly pray.  When we are helpless, we don’t know what we should do, and often we don’t even know how to pray.  But we have God’s promise: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26.  Do you hear that?  Just as a mother looks upon the helplessness of her infant and knows the needs of her infant before he or she even cries, so does our heavenly father, who intercedes for us even when we can’t do it for ourselves.

But as our prayers are empowered with our realization that we are utterly helpless within ourselves, we know in reality that we are not helpless.  We serve a God that controls all creation, and yes, that includes viruses. So let’s lift up our helpless eyes to the Lord, from whom all help comes.

May Christ’s blessings be upon you,

—Elder Apo Panossian


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