Holistic readiness—spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

How do you bring hope to the hopeless?

PCS Lifestyle Basics 

The key success factor in Biblical Readiness is learning a Pray-Care-Share daily lifestyle. Pray-Care-Share (PCS) promotes a spiritual lifestyle in which Christians take responsibility not only for their own spiritual growth but also in sharing Christ with friends and neighbors. The following PCS practical skills will help you to meet believers and non-believers at a point of need and guide them into recovery and restoration. The study teaches:

  • How to pray for others and to discern where God is opening doors spiritually.
  • How to find the right place and time to care for the needs of those in crisis.
  • How to ask for the chance to share Christ and what to say.
  • How to track spiritual growth. 

By agreeing to use Pray-Care-Share lifestyle principles Christians are drawn to invest the time to build a relationship by praying, caring, and sensitively sharing Christ with others who do not yet know Him. 

Beginning with prayer, the Christian becomes aware of people God is directing them to and their needs. As the Christian tangibly cares for them, they become receptive to hearing about Jesus Christ. And then, when prompted by God, the Christian asks for an opportunity to share their story and an opportunity to publicly confess their sin, receive the gift of salvation, and commit to follow Christ. 

A ReadyChristian learns about the recovery programs, support groups, and ministry opportunities in their community available to share with people in need. In emergencies, the PCS preparation pays off. Instead of wondering what to do, a ReadyChristian provides a complete response to crisis and welcomes numerous opportunities to lead people into a new life with Christ. 

Together We Will Stand 

As mentioned earlier, for the last 70 years, since the end of WWII, people in the U.S. have grown less accustomed physically to keeping their pantries stocked, their tanks full, and their emergency locations known. 

In the spiritual arena, some experts now indicate that less than 17% of Americans are identifiably Christian. That is, their lives are not guided by Godly Christian principles with strong spiritual walls resilient to attacks of all kinds. 

Many Christians are hard-pressed to indicate five people with whom they work or see regularly that they are praying for by name or sharing their faith. The spiritual and physical “walls” of our country, our homes, and our personal lives are broken down and need to be rebuilt. We have just studied how Nehemiah presents a clear pathway on how to seek others to help rebuild our physical and spiritual “walls” personally, in our home, church, nation, and world. But it is worth exploring in greater depth what the principles are which foster this intentional rebuilding where Christians take discipleship seriously and seek ways to obey God in His command to go and make disciples. Here is what Nehemiah did that we must do:

  • Acknowledge our spiritual walls are broken
  • Pray for God’s help to rebuild our walls
  • Read God’s word and listen to Him for directions on how to rebuild
  • Seek the help of advisers and others who will help rebuild our spiritual walls
  • Determine the strengths and contributions of those who will help us rebuild
  • Ask our rebuilders to make a specific contribution to help rebuild according to ability
  • Covenant in writing with rebuilders so both can rebuild and stand in a crisis
  • Follow a long-range and resilience-rebuilding plan
  • Evaluate the rebuilding resilience progress
  • Account for what rebuilders are doing to rebuild resilience
  • Resolve any disagreement between rebuilders immediately without compromise
  • Celebrate each resilient-building step and give all the credit to God 

How are you doing in these areas? Our task today as Christians is to first recognize our own broken “walls,” to work in unity with others who want to help us rebuild, to daily rebuild our own walls, and then to invite more people to come join us on our journey with Christ. Who are you standing with to rebuild the broken walls around us in our homes, neighborhoods, churches, and community? 

We are stronger Together We Will and Must Stand! And the basic principles of this call of unity and one accord were ones that Jesus commanded. Can we agree what it means to be a ReadyChristian who is standing together with other Christians rebuilding our walls for such a time as this? 

Our Strength Is In the Lord 

It is exciting just knowing the God of the Universe – Creator of All – desires to be in relationship with us individually! That statement, in itself, causes us to stand amazed before Him! 

The Bible says in Psalm 19:1 that the “heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (NIV). 

As a ReadyChristian, we have learned our role is to be a Christian who declares the Glory of God! So, what does a ReadyChristian really look like? Is a Christian what the media says they are? What does God say? 

As a ReadyChristian, we know that our strength depends on how strong our foundation is. We recognize that we stand on the promises and the foundational truths found in the Word of God. 

Psalm 1:1-3 says, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers” (NIV). 

Do you agree it means we have strength in the Lord because we:

  • Know Jesus Christ personally and trusting in His word alone?
  • Enjoy the benefit of standing with others in the name of Jesus?
  • Live eternally with God the Father? 

One Voice Drawn Together By One Hope 

Our Hope is in and through Him! We are here together because God has designed this time for all of us to be present on earth as His ambassadors “for such a time as this.” 

As Christians we are drawn together with the desire for our world to know Jesus Christ, as we know from our own experience, He will give them Hope. 

Your world may extend to the individual next door, around the block, or at the grocery store, but in your world are hurting people that you can: 

Pray for by name Care for through acts of Nindness Share your personal story of God’s love and the Hope of Jesus Christ! 

Psalm 91:14-16 “The Lord says: I will RESCUE those who love Me. I will PROTECT those who trust in my name. When they CALL (Pray) upon me, I WILL (Promise) answer; I will be with them (Present) in trouble. I will rescue (2x) them (those who call upon His name, pray and trust Him only) and honor (Reward) them. I will satisfy (Meet their needs) them with a long life and give them my (Gift of Eternal life with Him) salvation” Psalm 91:14-16 (NIV)

He will satisfy and meet our needs 

In this verse THE SAVIOR says:

  • Call on the name of the Lord to rescue and protect
  • God promises
  • God is present
  • He will rescue
  • He will reward
  • He will give the gift of eternal life with Him
  • He is THE SAVIOR 

ACTION STEP: Reflect on this Scripture. Think about how God has met you and where you are in His plan. When was the last time you called on Him to rescue you in any situation? How do you see His hand of protection on your life? 

Ready As a True Worshipper 

Another characteristic of a ReadyChristian is to be a True Worshipper— 

One who realizes God cares about our daily activities and desires to be in constant communication with Him. 

He desires to engage with us daily. That is why we seek His face through worship on a daily basis. 

Worship woven into daily life provides Godly character necessary to survive any crisis!

  • What does a ReadyChristian look like to me?
  • Does my daily prayer, praise, and worship to the King of kings prepare me to face any situation?
  • Is my daily worship consistent no matter my circumstances? 

It is imperative that we are prepared INSIDE as well as OUTSIDE. 

We must ask ourselves the hard questions in order to develop consistency and balance inside and out; who and what we worship are vital components to being spiritually prepared to respond. 

Christians may be prepared physically, but unless we are prepared SPIRITUALLY BEFORE a crisis, OUR ABILITY TO RESPOND emotionally and mentally during a crisis, either personal or communal, is diminished. And, our ability to supply genuine hope in Jesus Christ comes through our personal and immediate connection to Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis not just when a crisis occurs. 

ReadyChristian: Our #1 PRIORITY is to be Spiritually, Emotionally, Mentally, and Physically prepared to give an answer for the Hope of Christ within us. 

For your own survival, or to aid someone else in an emotional, mental, or physical crisis, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is mandatory! We know our spiritual connection TO ALMIGHTY GOD and our personal relationship with Jesus Christ will sustain us to move forward. 

For...”This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13 (NIV) 

READY or NOT an emergency by definition is.... 

...a serious situation or occurrence that happens unexpectedly and demands immediate action; a condition of urgent need or assistance. 

With that definition we naturally realize the reason for having a constant daily relationship with our Savior and how vital it is. 

Emergencies, large and small, do and will cause all who are involved to respond differently. 

It is doubtful that there is one person reading this has escaped being involved in some type of an emergency. Therefore, you have experience that to walk through any crisis without Christ is the bigger disaster. 

The ReadyChristian Makes a Difference 

The difference you as a ReadyChristian will make in your personal life or someone else’s life in a time of crisis is by being READY AND PREPARED TO RESPOND... 

The definition of an emergency is the same for a Christian and non-Christian. But a ReadyChristian is prepared to respond knowing Hope in any crisis situation is found in Jesus Christ; we know He is the only one who calms the storms. 

Standing strong yourself or with others is our focus here as we develop strong Christ- like character as a Follower of Jesus Christ. 

Don’t Believe the Lie of the Enemy. Whatever the urgent need requiring action or assistance... a ReadyChristian is prepared and Ready to Share the HOPE of JESUS CHRIST! 

The Christian response does not change the definition of an emergency; it simply means the Christ-follower is already prepared and ready to share the hope of Jesus Christ to others during a crisis—Ready to Give an Answer. 

Sometime this is where we get bogged down. We tend to think we must have all the answers to every question presented to us...and we do. 

For a Christian, the answer is Jesus. As a result of your personal relationship with Him, the answer to anyone in crisis will flow through you.

He will provide hope, peace, and comfort simply by you being present to pray, care, and share His love. 

You have the Answer... IF you have accepted and received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior! 

READY in Season and Out! 

We have heard it said: “We must be READY in Season and Out!” 

“Always be prepared to give an ANSWER to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have” 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV). 

Have you thought about how what a person becomes before any emergency will dictate how they survive, recover, and help others during an emergency...and long after? 

NINE Guiding Biblical Principles for the ReadyChristian, we: 

  • HAVE ACCEPTED Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior - John 1:12 and Revelation 3:20.
  • WALK with God DAILY - I Corinthians 10:13
  • EARN from God DAILY - Psalm 119:11
  • TALK with God DAILY through prayer, praise, and worship - John 16:24
  • SHARE with God DAILY our Anxiety, Sorrow, Doubts, Love, and Joy - I Corinthians 10:31
  • SPEAK for God; SHARE your story and Hope in Jesus Christ - Matthew 4:19
  • FILLED with God’s Spirit - Ephesians 5:13
  • UNITE for God with other Believers regularly - Hebrews 10:25
  • PUT ON the Full Armor of God DAILY - Ephesians 6:10-20 

Characteristics of the Spiritually ReadyChristian: 

A ReadyChristian is Ready Spiritually

  • Ready personally as a result of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
  • Ready personally through intimate relationship with God
  • Ready personally through the power of the Holy Spirit living within 

Our intimate relationship with God depends on our relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ, AND through the power of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit directing the way...only then can we be spiritually prepared. 

These Nine Guiding Principles for the ReadyChristian are mentioned as a guide for us as we continue down the road in the holy process and in setting goals to become ready spiritually. 

Respond - Engage - Exercise - Equip - Apply 

As a result of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, a Spiritually ReadyChristian understands what Biblical Readiness requires. 

The Nine Guiding Principles remind us to:

  • Respond with the message of Hope
  • Engage and agree peacefully
  • Exercise the strength and power manifested in us through the Holy Spirit
  • Equip others with the knowledge God gives us
  • Apply the principles of Pray-Care-Share daily 

The only way we will be able to stand with others is to develop a lifestyle that will empower us with the Holy Spirit daily; then and only then can we stand together as the Body of Christ offering “streams of Living Water.” 

When we agree with other believers on these Nine Guiding Principles of what it means to be a Christ Follower and what we need to apply in our lives daily, we will be motivated to do so from the inside out because of the power of the Holy Spirit. 

The Spiritually ReadyChristian will demonstrate the “Fruit of the Spirit” through actions and deeds: acts of kindness expressed by praying – caring – sharing the love and hope of Jesus Christ. 

When we respond as Jesus would, engage with others out of love and concern, stepping into His divine appointments each day applying the principles of praying first, caring tangibly and then sharing Christ we will see this fruit abundantly. 

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:38 (NIV) 

How will you engage and stand with others in crisis...How will you actually do this? 

A ReadyChristian, realizes that we are not independent individuals, rather we are the Body of Christ - called to build the Body. It is not about me reaching the finish line and receiving the prize. This race is about all of us reaching the finishing line together and finishing well. 

A ReadyChristian knows that we are stronger together than we are separately. 

Therefore we need to agree in any crisis....Together We WILL Stand! 

ACTION STEP: Do you and your partner agree that standing together in any crisis is key to a biblical response? 

Together We Will Stand Covenant 

Please read this document together with your Response Partner and agree to keep this covenant by signing and dating one copy. 

We believe while crises are unpredictable, and often beyond our own or other’s capacity to remedy, emergencies of all kinds, large or small, are often God’s opportunities to capture the attention of seekers to find their Hope in Him. 

We believe our faith was meant to be shared, not hoarded, and we are to fulfill the commandment Christ has given us to go and make disciples thereby to demonstrate our love of Him. 

We believe it is only by walking with Christ personally through His Spirit that will we know how to pray for, care for, and share Him with those in crisis. 

We believe in the biblical principles outlined in the book of Nehemiah to rebuild the spiritual walls of those who are believers as well as non-believers because in crisis we are stronger together. 

We believe sharing our faith with those in crisis may be inconvenient or uncomfortable but, with God’s help, we are transformed into willing ambassadors. 

We believe unless our own spiritual, emotional, mental, or physical house is in order, we will be ineffective and an impediment to the revival of Christians and thereby His kingdom expanding. 

Christian Emergency Network ReadyChristian ] How do you bring hope to the hopeless? 

Therefore, to form a strong and fruitful response network to assist those in crisis, we agree to meet at a pre-determined time each month to: 

1. Pray for those in crisis and determine what steps we will take together. 2. Ask each other accountability questions to ensure our own growth to help others: 3. Are we modeling Nehemiah in our response network? 4. What is God telling us we must do for someone we know in crisis? 5. Who are wise advisors who will help us grow? 6. What are our strengths, and what will we provide each other in crisis first? 7. What are our abilities to help many others beside ourselves? 8. What are the things we must do for spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical readiness? 9. When and how will we determine progress? 10. What if we do not progress? 11. How will we resolve conflict in any crisis situation to stand well together? 12. How will we celebrate response network growth steps and praise God? 

We hereby agree we will hold each other accountable for this growth. 

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ACTION STEP: Do you have a plan in place to hold each other accountable for what you have just signed? If not, do so now. 

Emergency Pray - Care - Share Response (PCS) 

Pray-Care-Share (PCS) promotes a relational Christ-sharing lifestyle in which Christians take spiritual leadership responsibility for their friends, neighbors, and others in three ways: 

Prayer - asking God for opportunities to share own personal experience with Christ 

Care - reaching out in heart-melting love by meeting the needs of others as God leads 

Share - explaining a relationship with Jesus Christ and his offer of salvation when the right circumstance presents itself and then leading the person into a relationship with Jesus 

Unlike other faith-sharing approaches, PCS encourages Christians to be obedient to God’s leading by first investing the time to build a relationship with others. Prayer makes the Christian aware of people God is directing to be cared for. As one cares for them, they become receptive to what the Christian has to share about Jesus Christ. 

The PCS lifestyle approach is valuable in emergencies in which people are already receptive to hearing about Jesus. In emergencies, the Christian who is ready to pray, care, and share may be (more than at any other time) able to meet needs and lead people into a relationship with Jesus. CEN trains Christians in a Pray-Care-Share lifestyle so that they are ready and focused on the best ways to share Christ when the time is right. A good resource for Pray- Care-Share training is Lighting the Way, a 90-Day Journey in Sharing your Faith by CEN Founder Mary Marr. Lighting the Way may be found online 

When is Sharing Christ Appropriate in an Emergency? 

Understanding a clear biblical response is one of the key ways that CEN maximizes the capacity of Christians to respond. There is a time and a place for sharing your faith. While it is important to give an answer for the Hope of Christ within, it is also important to know how and when to do that best, sometimes with or without words. It is never appropriate for Christians to use disasters to proselytize (i.e. to “make converts”). Damage can be done. To be effective, Christians need to understand when sharing is appropriate and how to keep the roles and priorities straight. 

Once the acute physical danger of an emergency passes and survivors begin to question, “Why me, God? Why did you let this happen? Where are you, God?” the ReadyChristian is prepared to give testimony of God’s grace and plan for each person’s life. Does this mean the Christian is ‘taking advantage’ of an emergency to ‘proselytize’? Not at all! Not any more than if the caregiver was an atheist, and when asked, said, “This is an accident for which there is no explanation. God did not do this to you because there is no God.” 

However, because Christians have a mandate to make disciples, they need training to give the right kind of support in emergencies while preserving their unique ability to share the Hope of Christ and pursue the Christian mission. The atheist will not be accused of trying to convert someone and be excluded from helping, even if the atheist is sharing his beliefs. The Christian must learn how to be a help in emergency operations and know the right time and place to offer the hope and comfort a trained biblical response can provide. 

After 9/11 something quite unexpected happened. The government sponsored grief counselors who ended up going home after two weeks for lack of work. In contrast, a counseling center sponsored by an inter-faith agency had a line snaking around the corner for two blocks. Although proselytizing or holding religious services is prohibited during government-sponsored emergency efforts, it is part of the training of Federal Emergency Managers to look to the church to calm people during a crisis. Following hurricanes Ike and Gustav, religious leaders were dispatched to reassure local ethnic groups that they were going to be looked after by FEMA. 

So, where do Christians draw the line? What is appropriate? At what point do you go from giving aid to presenting a case for Christ and the need for eternal life? Can you even do that? When and how is faith-sharing appropriate? In which places and situations is overt evangelism or ‘sharing your faith’ inappropriate? 

From a legal standpoint, certain criteria distinguish legitimate evangelization from illicit proselytism:

  • All humans have the right to have religious beliefs, and to change these beliefs, even repeatedly, if they so wish (Freedom of Religion).
  • They have the right to form religious organizations for the purpose of worship, as well as for promoting their cause (Freedom of Association).
  • They have the right to speak to others about their convictions, with the purpose of influencing the others (Freedom of Speech). 

By the same token, these very rights exercise a limiting influence on the freedoms of others. For instance, the right to have religious beliefs presumably includes the right not to be coerced into changing these beliefs by threats, discrimination, or similar inducements. 

Hence a category of improper proselytizing can be discerned.

  • It would not be proper to use coercion, threats, or the weight of authority of the educational system, access to health care or similar facilities in order to induce people to change their religion.
  • It would be improper to try to impose one’s beliefs on a ‘captive audience,’ where the listeners have no choice but to be present. This would presumably require restraint in the exercise of their right to free speech, by teachers in the classroom, army officers to their inferiors, prison officers in prison, medical staff in hospitals, so as to avoid impinging on the rights of others.
  • It would not be proper to offer money, work, housing, or other material inducements as a means of persuading people to adopt another religion. 

Federal rules require that religious organizations separate their federally-funded services from their religious services to avoid improper proselytizing. This is done in two ways:

  • Different place - deliver emergency services in a place that is not used for religious purposes
  • Different time - deliver emergency services at a different time than religious services 

A couple things you can always do:

  • You can always do whatever you want as long as you are on private property.
  • It is appropriate to invite people to a discussion about God or to religious services or events at another time and/or place as long as they are not required to go. 

It all comes down to being READY! We cannot control the time or place that someone will be open to listen, but we can control being personally prepared to answer and take advantage of every situation to share the Gospel. 

Pray-Care-Share in Action 

Faith-sharing is an act of love, not of judgment or criticism. In this case, the most loving thing for John to do was to share his testimony. To do so, John had to be ready - ready to pray, to care, AND to share. John was ready to give an answer for the hope he had in Christ. When he was called on to give an answer, he was trained spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically to glorify God in the way he was designed. If we have a teachable, moldable, and humble spirit we will be made ready for such a time as a crisis where others will be asking: “Where is God in this?” As we can see here, God can prompt even atheists. To give the answer, we must ready ourselves ahead of time. 

Calling 911 - The biggest emergency for the Church is that many Christians do not know how to share their faith appropriately in crisis. 

Our job as Christians in crisis is to be strong in Christ, not weak. We have hope in God through Christ Our Lord, and we are His ambassadors to a needy world. Our work will be rewarded if we trust in God for our reward, not insisting upon earthly rewards on our own terms. God uses circumstances like emergencies of all kinds to manifest His care and love for each of us. We need to put away other idols or distractions of time and priority to focus on what is important to Him - bringing His children safely home. 

The good news is that you know a lot more than you think you do about how to pray, care, and share. You just need to understand the crisis and understand the opportunity: 

Understand the Crisis - “The bridge is burning, and there is nowhere to go and no turning back!” 

Often, survivors of crises will say, “This is more than I can handle!” and, “Where do I get help?” Ninety percent (90%) will ask, “Where is God in this?” But what do you do and say when someone’s bridge is burning? Remember how Elijah asked God, “Where are you in this?” Elijah knew that God had the answer even when He seemed nowhere to be found. We all need to ask Him to make sense out of our crisis. Just as Job 7:19-20 and Jeremiah 20:7 show us, God will make clear the path in the midst of pain and confusion, but we must ask. 

Ask for help? According to the International Critical Incident Foundation, a 2001 report showed that 59% of trauma victims are likely to seek assistance from a trusted friend or clergy, as compared to 45% from a physician or counselor. You are that trusted friend! Why? You have a trusted friend, Jesus, at your side. 

There are three typical responses before those in crisis ask for help: denial, resistance, and acceptance. To cope with crisis requires acceptance. In order to soar above crisis and experience renewal, it is essential to learn what God wants us to learn, or we will endure more pain. God wants us to learn trust. He will do whatever it takes to teach us. When we learn it, he has promised he will always show us a way through the pain. 

Those who respond with acceptance recover more completely and help others more passionately. 

How do we as followers of Christ live in acceptance of whatever the circumstance? and 

How do we move others to a point of acceptance? Pray-Care-Share! 

Real LIFE Story: Chris took his job as a “Christian” seriously and prayed, cared, and shared with a neighbor in crisis. The neighbor had just come to the U.S. from Albania and, four weeks later, her new husband committed suicide. She could not go back to Albania. She could not speak English and express her grief, get a job, or deal with her affairs. Chris prayed for her by name, cared for her with tangible loving visits, used his English as a Second Language (ESL) experience and taught her English, grieved with her, and helped her find a job in another state where the woman accepted Christ in a Messianic Jewish church within four months. As tough as it may seem, the crisis was also an opportunity, an opportunity to PCS. It was an Albanian women’s chance, far 

from home, to find her Savior. Emergency PCS in action! 

Understand the Opportunity 

God uses calamity to bring the focus on Him. It is a last resort for God after trying all other ways to lovingly, patiently, bring us back into relationship. It is a severe mercy, but wise Christians understand and are able to help others understand from personal experience and numerous examples in the Bible how faith can triumph over great tragedy and lead to a fulfilling relationship with God. Even in very large disasters, crises are personal to each individual involved. Our Lord is in the heart-healing business, and we are his hands and feet. God understands heartbreak. Sinful people crucified His Son. Heart emergencies need godly heart experts. What do heart experts know? 

The heart surgery process brought on by a crisis is similar no matter what the crisis. When Elijah faced his crisis, he knew that he first needed rest. Elijah fell asleep and actually isolated himself and only then sought God’s whisper of hope. He found a friend in Elisha, and God cared for him by giving him food and shelter. Elijah was instructed by God to not get stuck in his own recovery but to help others. Then he got busy helping was only then that true hope resided in his own heart to share the Good News with others (I Kings 19). 

Wallowing in self-pity and helplessness will delay any recovery. People who are in crisis often have confused thinking and are vulnerable to what they are being told, whether it is to sit down or fall down. When those in crisis turn to God, they put their eyes on Him and others and off themselves. It is not a time to trivialize their weaknesses but to celebrate their admission of weakness. That is the first step to healing and walking with God forever. 

The pain of any crisis makes our defenses lower and gets our attention in every area of life - spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Pain forces us to admit “need,” including our need for God. 

Just think of it - why do people call 911 when they are in trouble? They think someone will hear their plea. They hope they will help. They want a solution to their problem. And they know that someone is trained, willing, able, and ready to help the instant they call. 

It is like that when people are in crisis. The Bible says: “Please God, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me. Please hurry to my aid, O God. You are my helper and my savior. O Lord, do not delay” Psalm 70:1, 5 (NIV). 

God will rescue the poor and needy. We do not have to wonder IF He will. He will when they cry out to Him. “But how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14 (NIV) As Christians, and as disciples, we are all the priesthood of believers, the ones who must share when those in crisis cry out for more than their physical needs to be met. When they are hurting, confused, and hopeless, who will lift them up? 

God will use the trials, tragedies, and heartache to develop the character and strength of a victim if he will allow Him to do so. Trials and tragedy come to all people, both good and bad people. 

There are things God allows that He does not desire or directly cause – like allowing free will. Some choose wrongly, which results in more pain. With Christ, tragedies become triumphs. 

“Where is God in this?” is a common reaction to emergencies of all kinds from Christians as well as seekers. Whether it is vast loss of life or a personal emergency, all emergencies are big to someone. 

How do we as Christians share the Hope that is within us in these moments? 

While each emergency (whether personal, community-wide, or national in scope) is unique, each was not predicted and demands a tailored response. However, there are three basic principles that remain the same no matter what the incident. It is not as simple as merely a prayer and a well-intentioned and heart-felt caring action; the response is not done until the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical life has found victory. 

Why Pray - Care - Share? It is what Jesus did every time he faced a person in need. He first asked His Father for guidance, then He acted upon what He was told to DO, then He never failed to direct the recipient of His love to His Father alone. 

Learning the PCS Lifestyle 

The Vice President of Canter Fitzgerald had been living a lifestyle of Pray-Care- Share when the 9/11 hijackers struck their 104th floor offices killing 658 of 960 New York-based employees. Before the tragedy, people would refer to him as “The Reverend” in a derogatory fashion, but afterwards people opened their hearts and asked “The Reverend” to show them the way to salvation. As HB London said, “We are, in any great moment, what we have already become before.” 

PCS isn’t something you can learn on the fly as the walls come crashing down around you. Imagine a jet fighter pilot trying to rip open and read the instructions on his ejector seat in the 2 seconds before he has to make a decision that will save his life. In a similar way, a Christian cannot expect to be ready to give an answer unless he/she has been practicing PCS. 

Lighting the Way - a 90-day Journey in Sharing Your Faith by CEN Founder Mary Marr is a guidebook of daily devotional readings and weekly reflections designed to help the Christian put the PCS lifestyle into practice. The guidebook uses Engle’s Scale to show you where you are in sharing your faith and show you step-by-step how to pray for, care about, and share God’s love with those around you by simply being who you are. 

Engel’s Scale 

Step 2: Lighting the Way in Disasters 

CEN Founder and Chair Mary Marr prepares you to minister to those in crises short and long term. 

In order to effectively pray-care-share within disaster settings, it is helpful to understand the five distinct phases of any disaster or personal emergency. There are specific victim needs during each phase, and their ability to respond varies from phase to phase. 

• The first phase is the “Acute” phase. During the acute phase, the disaster/ emergency is still unfolding. It is wise to assist first responders, pray for them, and support their efforts as much as possible. 

• The second phase is called the “Heroic” phase, which is what it sounds like - people are doing heroic things such as rescuing people. Often it is victims helping victims, neighbors helping neighbors. 

• The third phase is called the “Honeymoon” phase. During this phase, people are responding from all over the country to come and help. It is a honeymoon phase because all of these people have come to help, and it gives assurance to victims that everything will be all right. 

• The fourth phase is referred to as the “Disillusionment” phase. The longer the recovery takes, the more impatient victims become. They still don’t have power; they can’t get back in their homes; they are waiting for vouchers, etc. Tempers tend to be short, and normally courteous people can get kind of surly. 

• The last phase is generally referred to as the “Reconstruction/Renewal” phase. After what can sometimes be a long disillusionment phase, things are starting to come together. Debris is cleared away, buildings are being rebuilt, routines resuming, and people are returning to a “new normal” life. 

“Lighting the Way” helps you to apply the Pray-Care- Share principles in everyday situations with family and friends and may also be used in a disaster context to share with victims in all five phases and over a long-term “reconstruction/renewal/recovery” process. 

Who is searching for God? This is a common question asked by those facing crisis. People will either move closer to Him or further away. 1 Timothy 2:1-8 explains that we must first pray for people and plead for mercy upon them while giving thanks to God for their lives. We must pray for peace, quiet, and godly lives and that all men will seek Him, be saved, and understand the truth of the Gospel. “For there is only one God, and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people; He is the man Christ Jesus” 1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV). 

Pray for compassion and understanding of those you encounter who are different than you. Pray for empathy so that those who are victimized will understand that you are truly there for them during their time of need. 

Ask the Holy Spirit to fill your being with strength before going out into the field. Pray for courage, insight, boldness, and perseverance (Acts 1:8). 

Marr says: “Prayer is not me motivating God to save my family member or friend; it is me being motivated to do my part.” 

I like to use the image of a radio when talking about prayer. Prayer tunes us into God. God’s signal is always present, but we aren’t always tuned into it and may, in fact, be tuned into something else entirely. To be prepared for emergencies and disasters, we need to be tuned into God. Be spiritually prepared. 

Pray for the victims. Often if you visit someone’s bedside in a hospital, Christians will come and pray for them. Do not forget to pray also for those in the same room who you may not know. 

Pray that they feel the presence of Christ in the darkness they are going through. Pray that God will guide them and give them strength to deal with the crisis at hand. Pray God will give them wisdom to make the right decisions in the aftermath. 

The first step and continual step in our response is PRAYER. 

Pray that God gives you the patience to listen to what a victim needs and for the strength to support them. 

Where is God in all of this? Why did God allow this to happen? These questions are often posed in the early phases of a disaster. As Christian care-givers, what people really need at this stage is for someone to truly listen without feeling a need to say something or try and “correct” what a victim is saying. It is important to let them vent. This is called “cathartic ventilation.” They may be angry at God, and that’s okay. God has broad shoulders. In the aftermath of a disaster, people are searching for help and also searching for answers. It is our job to support them and graciously listen to them. It is in this caring phase that spiritual transformation initially takes place. People do not care about what you know until they know how much you care for them. It is a defining moment that will either foster a grateful memory or more pain. 

If in the early phase of the emergency/disaster, offer them water, show them where they can get a meal, a shower; take them to someone who can offer shelter. You must meet their physical needs following a disaster/emergency prior to anything else. 

Carefully listen to their story and withhold judgment. Be attentive to their needs. 

Where can God use me? Before you go to assist at the location of the disaster/ emergency, pray that God can use you to be His light to the world for those you will encounter. All caring gestures are important no matter how humble the task because God does put people in our path in order that we might minister to them (1 Timothy 2:1-8). 

Carry a small notebook and gather names of people you have encountered throughout the day; put their name in a book so that these people can be prayed for at the end of each day or as a reminder of how you can help them specifically and where they are located. It is also important to keep names confidential and to dispose of the peoples’ names when you are done. Specifically, pray that God use you as a beacon of light, love, and hope and that you recognize the people He has put in your path that you are called upon to minister to on that day. 

If you see someone picking through the rubble of what used to be their home, help them in some way. Help them look for pictures and precious heirlooms. If 

they are sitting quietly on a curb with their head in their hands, simply sit with them. If appropriate, give them a gentle pat on the back to let them know that you are with them and there for them. 

In responding to disasters and emergencies, it is important to pray for courage, calm, and confidence. The people you encounter will be stressed in a variety of ways. They may be sad; they may be angry; they may be in the pit of despair. They may be despondent or in emotional turmoil. It is our job to provide a caring calm, ministry of presence, a lighthouse beacon of light to those being tossed about on stormy personal seas. 

“God gives us courage beyond ourselves. Total heart abandonment to God is the key. When we exhibit the peace that passes all understanding, the world sits up and takes notice,” says Mary Marr. God is the strength beyond our strength in any crisis that enables us to provide the calm that is needed by victims (Acts 1:8). 

If someone that you encounter asks who you are, why you are doing what you do, simply tell them that God has prompted you to help. Keep it simple and follow their lead. 

Hearing the story of someone you encounter may bring something painful in your past to the surface, and it is okay to share from your own pain in order to help them share theirs. But the difference is you have Jesus on whom to rest and draw strength. Make your experience clear and concise. 

I am a firm believer in having identifiers when at a disaster site because it is a sensitive way to share our faith and allows someone to approach us with their questions. Identifiers are items such as a shirt that identifies your faith organization name, a chaplain’s vest, or a cross. These identifiers indicate to people that you are a person whom they may talk about faith issues with openly. It also helps first responders to guide people they cannot help in these matters effectively. 

Share your own testimony when asked from a first-person perspective which can be very encouraging to people in crisis. It often helps them open up to share their journey. 

If they have their doubts, do not correct them. Let them have their doubts and support them still in their personal struggle. How you act in being non- judgmental is a far more powerful witness than what you may say. 

They may not respond right away, but many will come back and explain how you have helped them, how they want to help others, and how the only way to do that is Jesus. 

Build a relationship with those you are serving, and you will have ample opportunities to be the one with the answer when asked, “Where is God in this?” 

Step 3: Understanding Spiritual Resilience 

Spiritual resilience is the ability to stay true to our relationship with Jesus Christ under all circumstances, and to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual resilience develops as we: 

• Put on the full armor of God 

• Live in the Light 

• Stay alert and prayerful 

• Stay on guard 

• Share the Good News 

Put on the Full Armor of God Ȃ Ephesians 6:10Ǧ29 

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” 

Daily, we must “put on” the strength and protection that is ours through Jesus Christ. This is done by prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit and by meditating on these things: 

• Jesus Christ is the truth, the foundation our faith is built upon, the Good News for the world and a source of strength to repel our enemies. He gives us His power to stand our ground. 

• The Righteousness of our Holy God is like body armor that protects us when we obey Him. 

• God’s peace that passes all understanding steadies us as we courageously do His will like a well-made pair of shoes gives us stability to run fast. 

• Faith (trusting and depending on Him for everything) blocks the salvos of the enemy, like battle armor on a tank that deflects an RPG. 

• Salvation (the fact that Jesus rescued us from sin) keeps us humble, levelheaded and protects our thinking. Like a good helmet, it keeps us from losing our minds. When stress mounts, we look again to Jesus for salvation. 

• God’s Word – the testimony, promises and instruction found in scripture is the tool we have for defeating lies and overcoming godlessness. It is like a powerful weapon that slices right through the lies of the enemy. 

• Praying alert and in the power of the Holy Spirit gives us the right words and the boldness to explain God’s Good News for Everyone. 

Live in the Light – 1 Thessalonians 5:8 

“Let us live in the light, think clearly protected by the body of the armor of faith and love, and wearing our helmet of confidence in our salvation.” 

Tragedies bring all kinds of pain, darkness and turmoil. It is often the point at which transformation can take place in the heart. The very nature of crisis forces us to seek God or to turn from Him in despair. 

According to a 2001 survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine, ninety percent (90%) of all people in crisis will ask, “Where is God in this?” 

By living in the Light of Christ, we prepare to shed light on difficult events in the lives of others. When we live in the Light of Christ we are protected. But the child of God who has never found the light is not protected and cannot, in confidence, share the truth of the Gospel. 

Living in the light requires humility and daily seeking God. We must ask God and others we trust to help us think clearly, asking: 

• Am I living in peace, to the best of my ability, with friends, family and co- workers and acquaintances? 

• Am I working like I am working for God? Am I giving my best? 

• Am I living a balanced life? 

• Am I giving generously to others and Christ’s cause? 

• Am I growing and improving? 

• Am I forgiving to others and myself? Do I get right back up when I fail or do I beat myself up first? Do I extend grace to others who fail? 

Crisis and emergencies test our faith and resolve to follow Christ. However, they are also an opportunity to dramatically and unforgettably meet the needs of survivors with the love of Christ. 

Christ loves us in three ways: 

1. He takes up our pain and troubles as His own, seeking God in 

prayer for answers to our problems. 

2. He cares for us while taking time to explain how we can be set free 

from the sin that plagues us in order to live with God eternally. 

3. He pays the price to restore our relationship with God. 

Christ-followers have the same task. We are commanded to do the same things Jesus did 

1. See what is happening with people around us. Seek God’s purpose 

in prayer and offer help. 

2. Ask for the opportunity to explain how they can be set free of sin’s 

reign and live with God eternally. 

3. Demonstrate sacrificially the love of Christ. 

Being alert means looking for ways to care that melts a heart and creates the opportunity to share why we care so much. 

Share the Good News! 2 Timothy 4:2 

“Preach the Word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not.” 

To get good at something requires practice, as does sharing our faith. You don’t get many opportunities to practice sharing faith in crisis and disaster, so you will need to practice whenever you can. 


In crisis, people head towards the “light.” Looking for “calm” in the storm, survivors reach out to God and others, asking for help. For many, this may be the only time that they open their hearts to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. The measure of success in Biblical Readiness is to give a Great Commission performance. Read Matthew 28. How well are you doing at; 

• Going to others in crisis and meeting their needs? 

• Showing them God’s plan for their lives and making them into disciples? 

• Teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded? 

Jesus had a knack for serving the destitute, hungry, sick, lonely, depressed and even crazy people by meeting their needs. In some cases, by faith alone, Jesus restored people to physical health and wellness of mind. At that moment, some chose to follow. Would they have followed had they not first been brought through the crisis or disaster, physical or mental illness, death or loss, to experience first-hand the love, grace and power of Jesus? 

The Apostle Paul suffered trial after mighty trial. The persecution he had inflicted on others became the constant expectation of his ministry plans. The Spirit warned him often, “If you go, you will be beaten.” Paul went anyway. Even imprisonment became an opportunity to share Christ. And everywhere Paul went, he met needs, spoke boldly of Jesus and churches sprang up. 

What would Paul’s ministry have been like had he not been able to endure the crisis? Where would Jesus’ ministry have been had He not met people at a point of crisis need and led them into recovery and restoration? 

In the midst of crisis and disaster, the ReadyChristian gives witness to the work of a Holy God, a redeeming Savior, and guiding Spirit. 

But the Christian doesn’t get to this place overnight. Replicating our faith and the goodness of Christ in others takes a life of evangelism in which the work of Christ is part of everything we do and the reason for everything we say. To replicate during crisis and disaster, we must be living out our faith daily. 

Step 4: Working through Denial 

Why do some people not get it? 

As we watch people in the world reacting to the economic and world crises, we see how people respond with different degrees of understanding and concern. First there is Truth (God’s reality) about the crisis and secondly, every person has their own experiential personal perspective of the situation (as perceived through their personal filters and experiences). There are also several other possibilities for their lack of concern: 

• Some people deny the possibility of disaster because it is not in their experience; having lived an abundant life for several generations, they now feel entitled. 

• Basic education no longer teaches students to problem-solve or understand the critical balance of our world economy. 

• Media bombards homes with misinformation continually. 

• Our human nature has a strong denial system: “It can’t happen to me.” 

• Some people believe without questioning everything they read, and some believe everything their authorities say (doctors, lawyers, teachers, professionals, politicians). This is a child-like dependency, wanting others to care for them and make their decisions. 

• Some Christians hide from the world’s tenuous realities; they think they have a privileged position but, in truth, God tells us that it rains on the just and unjust. Calamity can come to all. 

Many people living in these turbulent days have an uncanny ability to deny serious issues facing our nation and world. They fail to see that all events influence everyone everywhere. Admission of a problem would call for personal action on their part, and that is out of their comfort zone. Thus, these people may accuse concerned individuals of being overzealous and foolish. 

What can we do? 

As you move forward, discernment is a need in determining what steps to take to protect others and ourselves in unstable situations. 

When you become privy to information that the average person doesn’t have access to, it is a weighty responsibility on how and what to share. 

• Ask for God’s guidance moment by moment, practicing the presence of God in each step and decision. 

• Perspective-taking: understand where others are coming from (even though they may disagree with you). 

• Provide need-to-know information, in a way credible to your audience. 

• Keep sight of God’s participation during the crisis, knowing all that is happening filters through His hands. 

• Set general goals and time-lines but daily seek God’s direction and guidance for course-correction and daily actions. 

• Control your own fears and misgivings by realizing love casts out all fear. 

• Your close walk with the Lord is imperative to good mental health and sound judgment. 

How can we handle our own fears? 

Maintaining our own spiritual well-being is vital to functioning unencumbered during trials and crises. In the face of uncertain times, in this anxious and turbulent world, we must cling to the fact that God is with us. He is able to supply all our needs regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves or our society (Philippians 4:19). 

The opposite of fear is not courage but love. 1 John 4:18 tells us, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” (NIV). When God’s love controls our lives, fear can no longer control us. It is important to keep ourselves focusing on others, thinking no evil (not brooding on evil possibilities and truths), focusing on the present (not borrowing worries from tomorrow), basing all on faith and not emotion, and trusting God (not doubting and lacking faith). 

Unhealthy ruminating on negative thoughts can paralyze our actions of moving forward for God. Know that our God is greater and mightier than any problem or issue facing our country or ourselves. 

Step 5: Stand Your Ground 

Do You Remember? 

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV) 

The Battle is Unseen 

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) 

PUT on the Full Armor of God! 

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” 

• Belt of Truth 

• Breastplate of Righteousness 

• Boots of Readiness 

• Shield of Faith 

• Helmet of Salvation 

• Sword of the S itpir 

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-11, 18 (NIV) 

PRAY for Others 

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20 (NIV) 

PRAY for Strength 

“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelation 3:8 (NIV) 

STAND in Victory! 

“To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. ” Revelation 3:21 (NIV)