New Year Prayer Guide

Day 16

Live with Urgency

P. Douglas Small

God’s Word for Today

Read Luke 16:19-31 and Luke 21:25-28

Thoughts for Today

Richard Hornbuckle had three passengers in his yellow Buick headed south over the St. Petersburg Bay bridge. The weather was horrible. The rain was fierce and visibility was bleak. Hornbuckle slowed to a crawl – twenty miles an hour. Suddenly, peering through the fog and rain, he was horrified. It was not what he saw, but what he could not see. The road way in front of him, the bridge just vanished. It wasn’t there, just a gapping span. He slammed on the brakes. The car skidded, turned sideways. Ever closer it slid to the broken edge of the bridge and the yawning bay waters below. No power could stop it. They were going over. A blue pickup had passed them. A bus had raced by them, too impatient for their cautious pace. Would they join them in the wreckage below? The section of the bridge on which the car stopped was pitched downward toward to water, and they were 14 inches from the chasm. Three passengers exited the car and crawled up the sharp incline to safety. For a moment, Richard sat in his car astonished. In shock. He would live another 20 years, but that day – he almost died.

For years, an urban legend was circulated, that Hornbuckle ran back to warn others. That the bus raced passed him ignoring his warning and taking its’ passengers into the deadly waters below. But there was no one to warn the bus. Emergency responders quickly mobilized rescue efforts, shut off access to the bridge, and began to aid passengers of the ship that had slammed into the bridge below, and fish passengers out of the waters. Sadly, there are no warnings to keep people from plunging headlong from the bridge we know to be out!

Life is so uncertain. Every day is a gift. Storms cause accidents, and take bridges out. Certainty degenerates to confusion. The only certainty is Christ, the bridge from one world to another. You and I know that there is a chasm. Who should we warn, if we could? How do we do that? Gerald Chalmers was on the fire-fighter rescue team. To this day, he won’t cross the new bridge if a ship is going under it. His brother says he is ‘crazy.’ Chalmers laughs it off, but remembers the chilly evening in the waters. Others may belittle his reaction; but he believes, even with a new, higher and stronger bridge, there are still dangers. We know what it is like for some to belittle our warnings. How do we keep from being conditioned into silence?

It’s Time to Pray

  1. Ask God to reveal to you the people around you that would listen to a well-intentioned warning, people who are now racing headlong into an open chasm without Christ. Beyond friends and family, acquaintances and associates – what about the many who don’t know the bridge is out?
  2. Ask God for a greater sense of urgency in your living and testifying for His sake. What actions will you take?
  3. Add a few more names to your list. Include those just beyond your circle, the ones in the category – “If I could tell them, I would…”

Prayer Exercise

Take a prayer drive. Look for places of light, positive places. Ask God to bless them. Look for places that invite darkness. Ask for God’s light to invade those places.

Pray for an Unreached People Group: Mirasi of Pakistan

There is an indication that a few hundred people have identified themselves as Christians in this group. Please pray they won’t re-convert back to Islam, and will be protected from harm. They need to fellowship together, so pray for this to occur.