Bridge Building

Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Thine Be The Glory"1 (Lyrics)

Hebrews 4:3a – For we who have believed enter that rest. (ESV)

Recently, I have been updating regular PresbyCan Prayerline requests with the aspiration of raising awareness of the suffering of the people of Ukraine since February 24, 2022. I do not know how many have engaged with God on behalf of my comments. All I can do is to pray, because it is my belief that God's presence makes a difference, for one or for all.

Currently, I have endeavoured to build a bridge between our readers and the latest news of calamity from Ukraine to urge everyone to stand with me and lift into the presence of Jesus those who are suffering in ways that are beyond most of our ken.

Over the decades that I have been writing, I have attempted to illustrate what God has shown me when I have remembered Him and have been provoked to put time aside to write.

Today was one such occasion where, in the presence of the Holy Spirit at church, I sensed that God spoke to me again. He acknowledged my lifting up of those who are agents of His care and my crying out to Him in despair and annoyance about this latest awful war: killing, maiming, and traumatizing of the innocent by those working for the ungodly.

He asked me if I was aware that my crying out to Him was in some manner distancing me from Him. He, my loving Saviour, did not need to be cried out to from afar in some forlorn manner, but rather, because He loves us all, I could walk into His heavenly realms in my mind's consciousness and lay down my petition and know that it was heard. There was no need to metaphorically beat my chest in exhortation of Him, because He knows and reads my true heart's desire to intercede and to be a bridge-builder between heavenly realms and the desperate needs on earth that I sense need His care.

Those who read this can let go of their angst, too; they can be bridge-builders, ones who rejoice in our Saviour's desire to walk with us in prayer and action wherever we may be, because God is already there ahead of us. He listens, waits, and stays ministering long after we have moved on, because of His great love.

One day, He will say "Welcome!" as we enter heaven, but until that time, we can continue interceding for His world and for people, to bring the authority and power of the kingdom of God into a world in need of prayer and action.

Prayer: Lord, Your will be done, Your name be praised forevermore. May Your kingdom come. Bring peace in our time. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickhenrymarshall@gmail.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    AMEN, Rod.


    Thanks, Rod, for the good word.


    I hear you, Rod and pray with you.


    Amen and amen, Rod! Blessings.


    Thanks, Rod, for this thought-provoking message and encouragement to pray.


    Thank you, Rod, for this timely prayer request. No matter what, to God be the glory! Blessings.


    Thank you for sharing your touching post and reminding us that we can trust God always.


    Thanks for that. It is hard to hear of the brutality of man to man. I keep asking why allow this, but it does seem to be a miracle that Ukraine hasn’t been overrun.


    Rod,
    Thank you for this helpful sharing of God’s word. Yes, He is aware of all the needs before we pray about them. Very helpful insight for our prayer giving.


    Good morning, Rod,
    Thank you for these very meaningful thoughts. It is so important to remember that we do not need to cry out to a distant God in a forlorn manner.


    What a great reminder Rod that the Lord hears our pleads and understands our braking hearts when we hear and see the suffering, not only in the Ukraine, but in other countries as well. May the Lord continue to encourage you with His Love, Joy, and Peace. He is in control in spite of all the suffering around us. This world is not our home. God Bless.


    Many thanks for the frequent updates on Ukraine you have posted as they were very informative and guided my prayers in specific areas you had heard about that I had not! I am sure many others have appreciated your diligent reports and requests! Bridgebuilding is indeed so important, and you have been a diligent worker of such! Blessings.


    Greetings Rod and thanks for another of your very pertinent devotionals and praise to you for your submissions to the prayer requests. I have been praying with you on those requests and pray there will soon be a peaceful resolution to that very heartbreaking situation in the Ukraine. Sometimes it is difficult to have patience waiting for the Lord’s answer to our prayers, but His timing is right in solving the situations we take to Him. Blessings for these writings you do.


    Dear Rod,
    You woke me up to Prayerline. I use and share the devotionals and the Bible verses but have not paid attention to Prayerline.
    As you express what God spoke to you about “distancing yourself from him”, your devotional spoke to me about the Prayerline. Thank you.
    I love your expression of “bridge builders” because that it is truly what we are trying to do as we talk with God, sing praises to God, share with others, …
    Your willingness to put time aside to write, benefits you and so many others. Thank you.


    What a great thought today! “He, my loving Saviour, did not need to be cried out to from afar in some forlorn manner, but rather, because He loves us all, I could walk into His heavenly realms in my mind’s consciousness and lay down my petition and know that it was heard. There was no need to metaphorically beat my chest in exhortation of Him, because He knows and reads my true heart’s desire to intercede and to be a bridge-builder between heavenly realms and the desperate needs on earth that I sense need His care.”
    I had never thought of that before, but it’s so true. We can pray with bold confidence that He is in control and hears our prayers.
    (ON)


    He also says in HIs word if two or more of us pray together our prayers will be heard.
    Some civilians were released so for this I am thankful. How they chose these people to be the chosen ones I think about while others remain, soldiers but civilians as well as injured. Yet bombing continues.
    After years of living in El Salvador I realized fear is our worst enemy and that often those who survive trauma have crosses to bear in their lives at time making one wonder why me?
    God has a plan for each of us. Your prayers were accompanied by mine and your angst too. But we both know God has His way in the end.
    I have never understood war killing but here we have an example.
    May God make space where there appears to be none as He has in the last few days.
    Peace be with you.
    (Ontario, Canada)


    Hi Rod, I appreciate your several recent prayers for Ukraine over these past few weeks and your devotion today. I follow the news every day and see brutality and murders, violent destruction of massive buildings, including hospitals where children are suffering from cancer and where babies are being born amidst unbelievable conditions.
    Women, children and seniors, their faces etched with pain and suffering and not knowing where their journey will end.
    Many of the fighting men have already been tortured to death in the most unimaginable ways. Such carnage.
    I was born in England and my town received devastating damage and we did live through war for six years, but nothing comparable to what is happening in Ukraine.
    There are many cruelties going on in many countries around the world today and man’s inhumanity to man continues.
    I’m praying for continued strength for President Zelensky and his brave army, to continue until the battle is won and the enemy defeated.
    The Lord bless you and keep you and your family in His care.


    Good Morning Rod.
    Thank you for today’s devotional and God Bless you for your unbending faith and continued plea for prayers for the Ukraine.
    It’s my thinking that this war has called many to question their faith in the scriptures.
    How does one explain to the people of the Ukraine who have lost numerous loved ones; who are badly injured; who have lost everything; who are without food and water, especially little children, who continue to pray and fight, but seemingly in vain; that God is with them, that he will not leave them, that “when two or more agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven”?
    How does one explain that the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church defends and supports Putin’s continued orders to commit unspeakable acts. How can anyone, let alone the leader of a church, believe what is happening is God’s will??
    It is easy for those of us in “safe” countries, in our warm homes with food, water, shelter, and loved ones to continue praying for a miracle, but I wonder…. would our faith be as strong were we to be placed in the same circumstances?
    We must “pray without ceasing” and continue to request prayers for the people of the Ukraine.
    Thanks again for sharing your insight and depth of faith.


    Just started reading these devotionals. A friend at our little Presbyterian church on Vancouver Island, Canada enticed me onto it (gladly!).
    I have been (slowly) reading through Job so I am a bit ahead of the 2y reading plan…chapter 24 struck me strongly yesterday. It could not be more apropos of the current situation in Ukraine. Lord have mercy.
    I am also reading a very good book by Joni Erickson Tada, “When God Weeps: Why our Suffering matters to the Almighty”. Co-written by Steve Estes. As one who is privileged to work among the elderly and disabled, this is an important subject to me and one of which I long to gain a deeper understanding.
    May God continue to bless you and your loved ones. He is faithful, He is sovereign, and He is good.
    Shalom from the other side of the Pond!

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