Stay Focused On What Matters

Two weeks after the Kahramanmaras earthquake devastated Turkey and Syria, the aftermath is a little clearer. The 7.8 magnitude quake, one of the worst in history, is responsible for nearly 44,000 lives, according to official numbers. And that may change by the time you read this…

On February 8, just 48 hours after the earthquake struck, I looked up the latest news to find that the death toll was around 4,000 people. What a difference from then to now.

“Lord, please make all the lights green on my way in to work today.” 

Sounds pretty insignificant, huh?

That’s what Pastor Erin Thomas, one of the senior pastors at my church, said in the Sunday sermon following the quake. 

My church is on a weeks-long series called Wake. Pray. Slay. And we’re focused on the power and meaning of prayer.

For me, she really struck a chord when she asked the church body, “What are we praying  about?! Traffic? That our meals are nourishing?”

It’s not easy to admit. Actually, it’s not even easy to notice sometimes. But we can be pretty selfish. Wrapped up in our own lives, asking God to help us with trivial things.

But there’s so much more going on around us than favorable traffic and nourishing food. 

She asked us, “Whom can you pray for?” Nobody answered her out loud during the sermon, of course, but I know I had an answer in my mind: “Plenty.”

It’s good for us to make our requests known to God. About our finances, our jobs, our struggles, our goals. Yes, even for protection as we drive and for nourishing food. But our lives aren’t just about us. That’s the point of my pastor’s message.

There is too much happening around us for that to be all we pray to the Almighty God about…

People are waiting on our prayers. Can you imagine what could happen if the Church stopped to pray corporately about one thing going on in the world? Well, I believe we’d see miracles unlike any other. Because His Word says, “if two of us agree on anything, it will be done for us (Matthew 18:19-20).

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but to lose his soul? (Mark 8:36)

That’s one of my favorite Bible verses. It’s such a sobering question that reminds me to focus on what really matters.

As a financial disciple, I want to please God by doing what He calls me to do with the money and possessions He gives me. So, yes, practicing wisdom in this area will always be important to me. But I know I can do better.

Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, Michigan State University, South Florida (where I live)… Whether it was because of mental illness, recklessness, war or natural disaster, lives were lost. How many of those were souls lost from the Kingdom?

This is what’s at stake every day. And I know I can do a better job praying for others. Yes, I know God wants me to pray for myself… for the things that matter to me. But I also know that He wants me to pray for my family members who aren’t saved. I know He wants me to pray for the stranger I walk by, who doesn’t know Jesus. I know He wants me to pray for my friends and acquaintances who don’t know Him, either. Because my prayers matter. And so do yours.

Let’s place winning souls for the Kingdom back in the forefront of our prayers. Because in the end… 

…that’s what really matters. 

With gratitude,

Melody Stampley

Managing Editor


Melody is the founder of financial coaching business Centsible Finance LLC. She earned a bachelor’s in public relations from the University of Florida in 2014, and a master’s in global strategic communications from Florida International University in 2017; but she discovered her passion in personal finance and writing, as well as a closer relationship with the Lord, after joining a Compass – finances God’s way study in 2020. She now serves as a volunteer on the Compass Florida board, is the editor for the Compass blog, and a facilitator and trainer for financial discipleship studies. Melody and her husband, Nate, live in South Florida.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *