From the Editor's Notebook (May-June 1970)

MIF 2:3 (May-June 1970)


W. Ross Rainey

Some months ago a form letter arrived in the mail soliciting a contribution for work among Indians in a southwestern section of the United States. Enclosed was a somewhat crude silver-colored key chain; a gimmick to infuse the recipient with a sense of responsibility to forward a donation. Nevertheless, the words etched on the decorative piece opposite the ring end of the chain left a lasting impression —”HANDLE WITH PRAYER.”

Daily we are reminded of the increasingly “perilous times” in which we live. What can we do? How can we help? These, and many other questions bombard our mind, yet in and of ourselves we are so weak and inadequate that the tendency is to feel that we can do nothing to help stem the tide of evil forces which are overrunning the world. But we can do something. Among other things, we can PRAY! Whatever problems, trials and sorrows we may encounter, whether they be someone else’s or peculiarly our own, it would be well if at all times our immediate reaction would be to “HANDLE WITH PRAYER.”

Though Sodom was doomed, Abraham “drew near” and prayed (Genesis 18:23-33): when Jonah found himself inside the great fish, conscious of God’s discipline because of his own disobedience, he prayed (Jonah 2); Nehemiah, upon learning of the wretched plight of the remnant at Jerusalem and of the broken walls and burned gates of the Holy City itself, wept, mourned, fasted and prayed (Neh. 1); when the Lord Jesus Christ faced the sufferings of Calvary in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed (Matthew 26:36-46): afflicted with his “thorn in the flesh,” the Apostle Paul prayed (2 Corinthians 12:1-10, see v. 8).

These are but a few of the many examples of various situations recorded in the Bible — all handled with prayer. In each instance God responded, as He always does, but sometimes His response to our asking is quite different from what we expected. Still, let us remember that even a denial is an answer (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9), and it remains for us to accept His choice as the best possible thing for us.

Whatever trial, perplexity, frustration, or sorrow you may face at this very moment, you can do nothing better than to get into God’s presence and handle it with prayer.