2017-06-07 - Is That All There Is ©
Prayer is always the most important thing we can do, in any situation. And in fact, sometimes all that we can do is pray. For example, last year for awhile, Richard was paralyzed for much of the year. He was unable to fulfill his duties as Church Treasurer and Sunday School teacher, but he was still able to pray.
But is that all there is for us to do, when we something amiss? Actually, for most of us, most of the time, God expects us to "put feet on our prayers." Yes, we are to pray in every situation, but I disagree with what some people have said, such as "We just need to pray and not do anything else, not speak out, just pray."
Occasionally that is true, but I believe the most of the time, God expects that when we see an unjust situation, we do something about it. Like Edmund Burke said:
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
One way I have lived out my own similar belief is through crime victim advocacy, walking with and acting for victims of molestation, murder, motor vehicle hijacking and other felonies. Even though I no longer work in a DA office, I still advocate for them, every time I have the opportunity. God has given me a driving passion for this.
This goes for all issues - international, national, but also everyday concerns, too. For example, empathy for the hungry is vital, and we certainly should pray for them. But as James reminds us in Chapter 2, Verse 1:
If one of you says to (the hungry), "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
Another example: The Bible is replete with warnings to avoid participating in slander. I think I have heard more slander in the last year, than I have in the rest of my life altogether, and some of it is shamefully lewd. I believe that some people in our society are so bitter that they have lost the capacity to discern right and wrong, or to feel shame. In Proverbs 11:9, Solomon teaches us that we are to be truth-spreaders, not falsehood - or slander-spreaders. And Paul's instruction to the Ephesians to "speak the truth in love" (Eph 4:15) is not intended just for them, but for us as well. If we see something that we know to be untrue, yet we don't correct it, we are guilty of aiding and abetting the slander or lies, for we are knowingly allowing them to continue to proliferate, hurting and misinforming people - and sometimes inciting hatred - all because of lies. Whether it involves the character assassination of a leader, or gossip about a neighbor, it is equally wrong, and God expects us to help put a stop to it.
If we know someone who needs a friend, it is good that we pray for them to find one, but it is even better to ask God to show us if we are one of those people whom He has in mind for them.
These are just a few examples, but I encourage you all to join with me in asking God to show us when he wants me to "put feet on our prayers." This may mean reaching out to someone lonely. It may mean writing a letter to the Editor or correcting a spreading falsehood on Social Media. It may mean discreetly helping out a fellow church member or neighbor in need. God's call to each of us will be different, but He is calling every one of us to do our part.