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I was in Japan in 2011 when the huge earthquake and tsunami occurred. Though I was far from the danger, I was still very much affected by those horrific events. When I logged into my Facebook page in the days immediately following the disaster, I was further horrified to see that some of my friends had changed their profile pictures to this:


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Here is a Note I published on Facebook in response to this shocking image:

I don't know if asking why is important at this point. I don't know why this terrible tragedy has occurred (I believe that maybe it's just part of the Earth's natural cycle for the plates to move so much), but I do know that I will not stop praying for Japan.

What is praying?  Praying is speaking to God.  I believe that when we pray, God listens.  God is everywhere, but when we talk to Him directly, He leans His ear closer.  He focuses his attention on those for whom we pray.  Even if everyone's story is already written, I believe that we can make their situations better through prayer.  We can help people deal with suffering and feel less pain. We can help them be brave in the face of extraordinary circumstances. We can help people keep hope.

And that is what the people of Japan need now.  They need money and assistance, of course.  But they also need your prayers and thoughts.  Please ask God to focus on Japan right now.  Please ask Him to focus on the nuclear plant in Fukushima.  To help the workers stay brave and dedicated. To give them wisdom to find a solution to this problem.  To prevent meltdown. 

It's hard to explain God to people who don't believe or who don't want to believe. One of the biggest problems that people have with God is the way that we can praise Him for good things but not blame Him for bad things. I believe that all things happen for a reason; there is a delicate balance in life that has to be maintained.  We can't understand the full picture.  We can't see why things are happening while they're happening.  

As for this tragedy, I don't think it's a punishment or anything like that.  It is a part of the Earth's natural processes; I only wish that this earthquake/tsunami had occurred somewhere without people. I hope that at least future generations can learn from this.  I don't know that anyone could have adequately prepared for the disaster that unfolded on Friday, but I hope that we can at least learn more about nuclear energy from this experience. 

I hope that the Japanese can continue being the strong, generous people that they are.  Please pray that they will recover.

Psalm 116

I love the Lord because he hears my voice
    and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
    I will pray as long as I have breath!
Death wrapped its ropes around me;
    the terrors of the grave[a] overtook me.
    I saw only trouble and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    “Please, Lord, save me!”
How kind the Lord is! How good he is!
    So merciful, this God of ours!
The Lord protects those of childlike faith;
    I was facing death, and he saved me.
Let my soul be at rest again,
    for the Lord has been good to me. 

Source: Biblegateway 

How can you show others that prayer is an act of love when tragedies occur?

This post was written by Emily Haymans.