When The Sirens Go Off

Saturday, February 23, 2019
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Master Let Me Walk With Thee"1 (Lyrics)

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – What a wonderful God we have — he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us. (TLB)

The first thing that those who visit me remark on is all the sirens! The "Get out of the way, quick!" shrieks of fire engines headed for my neighbourhood's under-repaired housing. The life-or-death screams of ambulances attending victims of heart attacks or car accidents. The even harder "It was too late" rumbling of every turn of the wheels when they return in silence. Police sirens that make me feel safe when they pull over some lawbreaker. The "Stop! Stop! Stop!" of their "give chase" siren wailing through our back streets, as a stolen car careens past, often with a young, desperate driver thinking that he can outrun his future.

I have come to regard all of these sirens as a call to immediate prayer for those suffering and for those helping. Lately, I have had the feeling, when things seem to be going sideways for me, that I am also being prayed for. That's one good reason to hang with folks who know how to pray and who do it without being asked. When it is me doing the praying, it is like using a spiritual crowbar or Jaws of Life® to extricate someone fallen into the pain of this world. I visualize my prayer prying them out, lifting and restoring them to the sunlight of God's presence. Every word of that prayer falls on them, like little drops of hope on a tin roof.

Prayer has an actual effect on reality. I believe that it serves better than if I could be actually present. The phrase, thoughts and prayers, has been much mocked lately. But if it means heartfelt, honest prayers offered up by believers, there is no finer thing that a person can do.

We're not talking fancy words here. "Simply trying to pray is praying," someone said. The more that we do it, the better that we get at it and the more humbling that it becomes to be used by God as a channel of His mercy and grace. The solid fact is that when we direct a prayer of faith like a laser beam at a particular problem, we can immediately accept that the problem is no longer ours. It is in God's hands, and we are free. We may need reminding sometimes of the strength of His power and might, unleashed in the name of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 – Share each other's troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord's command. (TLB)

Prayer: Dear Creator God, we are so grateful for the solid fact of prayer. Even now, we pray that You will heal those drowning in war, pestilence, and destruction everywhere that we look or read. Teach us to see more clearly the suffering all around us, amongst those we will never know as well as those we do. May we hear Your personal call for each of us to pray. In Jesus' name, we do pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <rise370@gmail.com>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    Thank you for your prayer.

    Thanks for sharing the words of encouragement, Rose.

    Thank you, Rose, for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.

    This is wonderful, Rose. I’m going to send it out to our classmates.

    Thank you, Rose. I live in a retirement community and also hear frequent sirens. It’s a great opportunity to pray.

    Oh yes. You nailed it with this one. It’s on the way to my niece – we spoke about this just yesterday. Thank you.

    What a beautiful reminder! Thank you so much. I, too, believe that prayer does actually affect reality. God bless! (I prayed for you)

    Amen! Never underestimate the power of prayer! I am on the prayer chain at our church and I am a firm believer in prayer. Blessings on your weekend.

    Amen Rose, l have been doing the same for years everytime l hear l siren. The Holy Spirit makes sure we use every opportunity to lift others up in prayer!

    Rose I also pray for tje people involved when a siren goes off.
    WE only need to know it involves a person in need.
    Thanks folr sharimng

    Dear Rose.
    Thank you so much for this devotional. Things have been going sideways for me so it had a powerful application. I like the idea of the spiritual crowbar and the Jaws of Life.

    Sounds like God has you placed right where He wants you. A strategically placed prayer warrior! God bless you Rose for your devotional and for the heart of God that unbeknownst to you through your many prayers has touched, countless, numerous lives.

    Dear Rose,
    I enjoy your hyper-wording: prayer like a laser beam, prayer like a crowbar.
    “The effectual fervent prayer availeth much,” we read in scripture.
    Let us keep at it. May God bless you in it.

    Greetings Rose,
    Many thanks for this devotional and a good reminder of the rewards of prayer. Prayer is a powerful defence at all times and our Lord’s grace and mercy ever waiting for our call.
    Blessings to you,

    Hi Rose,
    You are so right, the words, of so-called leaders of countries, when people are killed by gunfire so often lately, “Our thoughts and prayers are with them” is such a meaningless statement. I feel that prayer has to be sincere, not meaningless words, which we hear so often, when we doubt, dare I say it, that they actually do pray for them.

    Hi Rose:
    Thank you for your wonderful devotional. I too pray when I hear ambulances and fire trucks and police cruisers. It just seems the right thing to do. It’s a scary world out there and so many are in need. I am so grateful to God that He has given us prayer. I know so many people who never ask for prayer and this saddens me. I lift them up in prayer and add them to my prayer journal. Can you imagine if every single person knelt down and prayed how powerful that would be and pleasing to God!

    Thank you for your prayer devotional of 2/23. I too live near a Fire Station and frequently an emergency police route. My kitchen is 75 feet from a main road, their route to those who need help. Not long ago I was shopping close to home and 2 fire personnel were behind me in the cashier line. I told them that when I hear their siren, I say a prayer for them. I think at first they were stunned, however, they soon realized I was serious and responded gratefully.
    The reality of PTSD must be very difficult to live with and I firmly believe prayer is one of the answers – LIKELY THE MAN ONE.
    God bless you.

    Thank you for an uplifting message and providing encouragement in prayer.

    I enjoyed your article and your style of writing.

    You are such a gifted and inspired writer. This was such a blessing and challenge at the same time.

    Good morning Rose, I want to thank you for your submission on the sirens.
    I found your similes re prayer so good.
    Prayer like a laser beam; prayer like the jaws of life to extricate someone from the pains/troubles of one’s life; prayer like little drops of hope falling on a tin roof.
    Blessed day to you.

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