We’re never really prepared to hear the horrible bad news of the day, especially when it’s personal. While we read and hear about stories of kids dying in house fires and our hearts break, can we ever really be prepared to hear about it happening in our own family? Yes and no.

Jesus was clear that in this world we would have trouble – real trouble. Being in Christ is not insulation against tragedy; Kathy Branzell, the chair of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, knows this personally. On October 5, her cousin Robin survived a house fire that claimed the lives of her two precious children, Sean and Morgan. Kathy shared with us her deeply personal experience of loss.

Preparing in prayer with Kathy Branzell

I talk with Kathy about preparing in prayer today for the news we’re never prepared to hear tomorrow. We discuss how we respond as people of faith in the moment as we acknowledge the truth that trouble will come.

While we may acknowledge that the Enemy is prowling around right now looking for a way to devour us, we don’t often train every day to meet him on the spiritual battlefields of the real world. If we’re going to engage in spiritual warfare, Kathy reminds us, we have to go to boot camp today. She also reminds us that “sometimes we have to defend our faith to our own flesh,”

In this conversation, Kathy shares five points of being prepared in prayer:

  1. Know what you know about God because He is unchanging. Everything else changes, God does not. God is the same He’s always been and always will be. Before the fire, in the fire and every breath after the fire.
  2. Take every thought captive and meditate on His Word and His character. The rules and the rewards don’t change even as circumstances change constantly.  It is tempting to fixate on the tragic and tragedy, with your imagination running wild. Instead, fixate and meditate on God’s Word and character.
  3. Resolve today to abide – not run and hide. Stay close to Him. This is like a fire or tornado drill to prepare. In times of real terror, you want to have trained your heart, mind, and body in advance for HOW you’re going to respond.
  4. A daily drill of praying without ceasing. Prayer is a conversation with your constant companion, Jesus. Build yourself up in Him, and let this practice become a lifestyle. Let prayer be your go-to reaction and response.
  5. Turn to singing. Our life is an act of sacrificial worship. Sing to God hymns and praise music for solace, and allow God to sing over you.

What’s my go-to hymn? “Because He Lives.”

What’s yours? Please share your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

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