20 June 2016
Praying with Those Who Cannot – Thoughts and Prayers
Greetings Dear Reader,
In the recent tragedy of the shootings in Orlando, Florida many as usual have expressed their offered “thoughts and prayers” for the victims and their families. This has been met with a new response. Things have been said like “keep your thoughts and prayers and ban assault weapons.”
The things that come to mind here are twofold. First is the idea that we should do anything without prayer. I will not weigh on the gun question here. I have often made it clear that I abhor violence against anyone. Others in my clan have weighed in on this better than I could.
Inside this is the idea that we can succeed at anything good without the support of the Father. Prayer has validity and is needed more as the world darkens. Those who follow Christ are supposed to be in constant conversation with God. The response we are to have to tragedy is to ask the Father to aid those in need.
This gets rejected by the masses because faith without works is dead. Jesus’ brother explains that we cannot wish well for someone and not act. We dare not expect the world to hear the sincerity of our offered prayers if we are not going to act. People trust how they are treated.
The problem is that we are not on the front lines when others are in need. We are not living out the faith we profess in sacrificial undeniable ways. Until we do we have no right to expect any acknowledgement from those who do not believe. We do not give enough yet. We do not love enough yet.
Another thought is that we do not look people in the eye and engage with them. We do not tell them that we are praying for them. We water it down as the socially acceptable “thoughts and prayers.” If we are not confident that saying we are praying for is evidence in our lives then we should be silent. If we are living out our faith then our expressing that we pray out of compassion may be heard.
Our failure to live our faith erodes both the effectiveness of our prayers and our words about faith to others. As my Grandfather used to say, “You do what you believe. Everything else is just religious talk.”
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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