Psalm 18:1-6 (NRSV)

1 I love you, O Lord, my strength.

2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, so I shall be saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of perdition assailed me;
5 the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.

Isaiah 41:13 (NRSV)

13 For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.”

DEVOTION – Larry Crockett (Tennessee)

As a boy, I was always excited when I heard the sound of a siren.  But later in my life, when I began driving, I often became aggravated by the delay of a few seconds because of an untimely stop or having to wait at an intersection for an emergency vehicle to pass.  Either way, most of the time as soon as the sound was gone, I forgot the incident completely.

Nowadays, I try to think about the way Jesus might view the sound of a siren.  Someone is in trouble, possibly in a struggle between life and death.  At the very least, someone has been shaken up and is facing expensive car-repair bills.  Nearly every time we hear a siren, something bad is happening to someone else somewhere.

Today whenever I hear a siren, I pray for those who may be injured.  Then I add to my “siren prayer” a request for the safety of everyone involved, including emergency responders and bystanders.  The split-second decisions they make are difficult when the lives or health of others is at stake.

Finally, we can pray for ourselves, that if we encounter an accident or threatening situation before the professionals arrive, we can offer assistance to the victims and pray with them.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Next time I hear a siren, I will pray.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, be with those in trouble and needing emergency help at this moment.  Help the safety personnel who respond to make the right decisions.  Amen.