I praise God for 1st Responders, those police, firefighters, EMT’s and others who are the first on the scene of tragedy, accident, and need. They bring care and comfort in ways that many of us would be totally unable to offer.  We hear their heroic stories on the news, we read about them in newspapers and magazines, their exploits are celebrated on youtube and facebook.

I am not a first responder, at least not by training.  While I have found myself in those places and times by nature of my ministry I do not count myself among the first responders. I am however a 2nd Responder. This is something that we all can do.

So what is a 2nd Responder?

It is that person who upon becoming aware of a need breaks into emergency response mode and begins to pray.  When our boys were little every time we would hear a siren, the clear call of a first responder on the move, we would stop and pray, “Father please care for those who are in need of help and for all those who are rushing to offer help.” We are all called to be responders, some are called to be 1st responders, and some are called to be 2nd responders.  Next time you hear a siren – respond.  Pray for those who are rushing to offer aid that they would be safe as they drive, and that they would be in time to offer aid.  Pray that whatever happens, they would be able to handle both in the short term and in the long term whatever they walk into.

When you see those flashing lights along the side of the road, don’t respond with frustration for your commute time, but respond as a 2nd Responder – break into prayer.  Pray for those who were in need of assistance, for their safety and protection. When you see the warning sign that tells you of a crash on the freeway ahead become a second responder.

Perhaps you live in a neighborhood like we lived in for many years.  We were in the flight path of helicopters coming to our local hospital.  Whenever we heard the sound of a helicopter we would become 2nd responders. 1st Responders listen to their radio, their scanner, pager, or phone. Learn to listen and watch for the call to respond.  Listen for the “breaking news” alerts on your TV or radio.  Next time you lose power, pray for the safety of those who need to respond to restore power, and for all those without power.  There are so many ways that we can be 2nd Responders.

6  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6 (ESV)

Question to Ponder: How else can you be a second responder? How can you be a 3rd responder after the initial “event” is past?