As We Remember, We Pray
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“What wings are to a bird, and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul.” – Corrie ten Boom
Today we remember one of the worst tragedies in history, the Holocaust—the systematic genocide of six million Jewish men, women, and children. Jewish people weren’t the only ones who perished, but also political dissenters, gypsies, and those with alternative lifestyles. The Holocaust, amidst other tragedies of the 20th century, such as the perishing of millions under Stalin and Mao, wars, genocide, corruption and greed, dashed the optimistic spirit of the 19th century to pieces. How could we possibly have hope anymore? How could a good God allow such evil to prevail? The challenge since then is not only remembering, but remembering while maintaining our faith in the goodness of God. It’s easy to become numb yet, it is the courageous actions of Jews and gentiles in these dark times that show us God’s hand in such a dark period in history.
Most of the righteous among the nations – men and women who took action and saved countless Jewish and non-Jewish lives – were ordinary people from all walks of life.
Take for instance Corrie and Betsie ten Boom, two-middle aged sisters who worked and lived in their father’s watch shop in Holland at the time of Hitler’s invasion of Europe. When Corrie understood in her heart that her Jewish friends and neighbors could be rounded up at any moment and taken away to a concentration camp, she prayed that God would use her in any way, and in any place to help the Jewish people. We believe this attitude of heart was a blessing reaped from generations of prayer. Corrie’s grandfather Willem dedicated his watch shop as an open house for anyone in need and held weekly prayer meetings for the peace of Jerusalem based on Psalm 122. Willem’s son Casper carried on this tradition and passed it on to his children.
The efforts of the ten Boom family saved the lives of approximately 800 Jewish people and many underground workers.
Today Corrie ten Boom is honored by Yad Vashem as a “Righteous Among the Nations” and the tree planted in her honor there still stands today.
It all begins with prayer. We know that the courage and goodness of those who stood up for the Jewish people in their time of need came from the Lord, as James 1:17 says,
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…”
We thank you for your heart toward the Jewish people! Your prayers mean so much!