By Rev. Caroline Osborne
Sometimes we act like prayer is a cop out or a last resort, something to do when we have nothing else we can do. We couldn’t be more wrong! The Bible tells us, “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b). What is more, the Bible also tells us that we are all made righteous with Jesus’s righteousness: “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22a). That means your prayers are powerful and effective. Pray for your neighbors in need and see what God will do!
Many of the organizations we partner with have seen a significant increase in the number of people approaching them for help. That means, not only do they need more financial resources, but they also need more human resources! Reach out to a local ministry to find out how you can serve. I recommend Interfaith, United Way, and Gateway to Hope as great places to start.
As I mentioned above, there has been a considerable rise in need in our area during the lockdown. You may not have free time you can use to volunteer or you may have health concerns that keep you at home right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help. The Bible calls us to give sacrificially to help others. If you have extra resources, now would be a great time to give more than usual to support ministries serving the least of these. The ones I mentioned above are great options, but you also might want to consider Samaritan’s Purse, Doctors Without Borders, or similar trustworthy organizations that are helping people in even greater need around the world.
If you have the chance, get to know someone who is struggling right now. Facing unemployment, chronic health problems, or financial difficulties can feel dehumanizing. Talking with someone, getting to know them, and just treating them as an equal is a great way to counteract that.
For any and all of the suggestions above, the move you learn, the more you will know how best to get involved. Seek out more information on the current situation, the needs that are out there, and the best ways to help. Fr. Daniel has been doing a lot of research on this issue and can be a great resource.