(Today’s post by Adam Cooper)
As I pondered what to write for this post I continued to be reminded of my recent trip to Honduras. When I sat down and read Psalm 86 I understood why the Spirit would continue to remind me of that eye-opening trip. I will get to how the two tie together in a moment.
This Psalm, credited as a prayer of King David, is an example of a well-constructed prayer to God. If you look at the form David used you can see that he follows a form similar to what Jesus used in the New Testament when He taught the people how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13): David gives glory to God, seeks grace and favor from God that He would hear his prayers, and prays that he would be delivered from his enemies. David pleads God’s goodness.
The connection to my trip to Honduras may seem tenuous to those who were not there, or who have never witnessed a third world country. However, if you have ever visited a place like Honduras, you will make this connection immediately. Honduras is a poor country. 71% of the population earns less than two dollars a day. With that two dollars a day they have to pay prices similar to what we pay for stuff that they need. For example, 1 dollar = 20 Lempira. A coke in the US is about $1.59, a coke in Honduras is 25 Lempira. Fruits and vegetables are so expensive they are almost unavailable to the bulk of the population who must grow their own or know someone who does. Junk food proves to be more affordable that fresh food if you live in the city. That all being said it is easy to see how people could lose hope. What I did not see was a people losing hope. David starts off his prayer saying, “for I am poor and needy (NIV)” and this is the connection the Spirit drew me to the most. We were four hours into the remotest villages of Honduras and we had a church service of about 70 or more that was full of praise and glory and hope. Hondurans in this area would walk one to two hours to come to church! In all of the poverty God’s name is lifted high, Jesus’ name is praised, and a small mission continues to plant church after church on a meager budget with tremendous, God blessed, success.
As straight-forward as David’s Psalm 86, Psalm 87 proves a little more complex or cryptic. The Psalmist discusses the glory of the temple built atop Mount Moriah, but then foreshadows the inclusion of non-Jews into the children of the Most High God, “I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me– Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush– and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.’ (NIV).” He continues by remarking that the people of Zion (the Jews) will always be God’s chosen people. Many years before the realization of Christ it is clear that God was communicating the future that would be established with the church under Christ.
I always enjoy seeing the way God foreshadows the future of the church and Christ in the ages long before Christ. To me it makes the reality of what He has done that much bigger. Similarly, seeing the way the people of the country of Honduras rise up out of the depths of poverty and celebrate Him in ways that we only wish to also speaks strongly to His grace, His power, and His ultimate provision and plan.
As I look back on this recent trip I pray daily to have the love and devotion and joy that the Honduran people have! My prayer for everyone reading this is that you too would be able to find the unfettered love, devotion, and joy that many only find in the depths of need. Revival is happening in the poorest countries of the world and God’s glory is rising steadily out of the depths of poverty because there is a need for a savior. Yet, here at home, the church continues to flounder and fail in many areas. As Christians we need to be able to communicate the need for a savior to those who feel as if they don’t need one. I pray that you will continue to grow closer to God and follow the Spirit’s prompting in how to communicate the need of Christ to the lost around you.