"Let's pray for the people of Japan" seems like the thing to say these days. Everyone (even those that have gone far too long without visiting one of God's houses) hates to see the newscasts and word coming from Japan. With every passing hour, things seem to get worse- and the Japanese folks need our prayers. We need to pray that those hurting (both physically and mentally) will be healed. We need to pray that those lost will be found, and those found will be found alive. And we need to pray for their financial markets, as they're surely an important player in global affairs.
But you know something? We should always be praying for Japan. Were folks over there not worthy of prayer until a few weeks ago? Anyone that's deserving of prayer today was just as deserving of prayer last week. It shouldn't take a natural disaster or other great calamity to get us to pray for our fellow man- whether they be American, Japanese, Israeli, Australian or Iranian (yes, Iranian).
We should pray for folks in good times and prosperity just as hard as we pray for them in bad times and in times of trouble- don't they need it just as much? Who's finger rests upon the pray/don't pray (or in this case don't pray/pray) switch, and what barometer determines when they flip it?
The same mentality comes into play when dealing with "America's Heroes". Folks express a great deal of sadness and elicit prayer from others upon hearing the news of a fallen police officer or fireman. It's almost as if the only way those guys can be called "heroes" is if they happen to be gunned down in the middle of the street by some thug, or die engulfed in flames and smoke giving their lives while trying to save the lives of others. But they're "heroes" every day- not just on the day they leave this world for a better one.
Police officers, fire fighters and others are "heroes" every day for what they do. They're heroes when they die, and yes, they're "heroes" standing beside your window with ticket book in hand. They're "heroes" as they attend to accident scenes. They're "heroes" not just when they pay the ultimate price for us- but "heroes" every day they don their uniforms and risk doing so.
Every sailor, soldier, airman and Marine should also be in our prayers. We need to pray that those in harm's way stay safe, and that those out of harm's way stay out of it. Despite any differing political views of the wars we fight today, any of our brave men and women coming home deserve hero's welcomes. I personally pray that none are ever experience the worst of America as those returning from Viet Nam did- and that folks realize that 9/11 made no heroes- it just gave our "heroes" another reason to keep fighting.
So count me in- I'm saying a prayer for Japan tonight. I'll pray for my fellow man there and elsewhere as I've done every night, and I'll pray you do the same.