Prayers with action
It is time to act!
I have been quietly observing how often prayers and concerns have been raised to different causes on various social media platforms. For a while, I have noticed how the causes of refugees, the poor and the elderly are passionately mentioned and encouraged to be prayed for. Nice. Noble. What concerns me is that a lot of this is not much more than easy talk, done in the safety and non-challenging comfort of a coffee shop or perhaps a bedroom. Nice. However, James’ words of faith in action have been ringing in my ears – faith without prayer, prayer without action is pointless.
Before you take out your keyboard – let me be clear: Prayer is key to any breakthrough. Prayer is the most powerful offense any follower of Christ has at hand. Prayer is the way to align our hearts with Father’s heart. But it can also be used as the greatest copout. Social justice – I will pray. Refugees. I will pray. Mental health. I will pray. Hungry? I will pray. Thanks, but prayer without action is dead. Quite frankly, and I speak of experience – prayer without action (read help) does not put food on the table, it does not put clothes on ones’ back. It does not integrate the foreigner in our midst. Faith, if not accompanied by action, is self-centred and yes, dead.
Dead? Imagine our Father did the same to us. Imagine the Father thought sending Jesus would be a great idea, hoping someone else might step in. No, while we were still dead, Father’s love compelled him to act. Moved by his love, characterising his very nature He made us alive through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Does the Lord want you to pray for things you can help with yourself? Yes, seek his will before you act, but how often do we lower the benchmark on the power and magnificence of prayer, using prayer as an excuse not to act? Maybe we are praying that someone else will go!
My heart aches for the lost. My heart aches for the lonely, the broken hearted, the excluded foreigner who cannot integrate without the assistance of the integrated. But aching alone does not help. My heart aches for action, especially because there are many things we can act upon. My heart knows not to lean on its own understanding, yet if He directs your path, should we not keep in step with the Holy Spirit? It is risky; it is challenging but worth it!
I feel compelled to help, yet who is willing to stand and take a risk in bridging the gap? I read Matthew 25: 34 – 46, where Jesus talks about inheritance and wonder if we take this as serious as it sounds?
I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat – is our pantries closed, yet we pray?
I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink – have we turned off the tap, yet we pray?
I was a stranger, and you invited me in – have we closed the doors – yet we pray?
There are pockets of people in our midst who have not yet had the opportunity to be redeemed by Jesus. Should we not do everything possible to give them at least that option? And yes, let me warn you – most will refuse, most will decline, some will even ridicule you, but for the ONE who it brings change it is all worth it. So worth it.
The best part of this? It makes a church come alive. It brings new strength to a declining gathering, it revitalises the young and sees a bold awakening of the HS in our midst. The HS is action. It is moving. It is the visible demonstration of Mission Dei. God is already moving among us – we get to join his mission already moving.
Jesus also taught about talents, talents each person; each church received in moving kingdom forward. Imagine what is possible! But imagine what your response to Father would be when asked what you have done with yours? Are you intent on multiplication? Each of us have been purposed in Christ. No one is not a disciple-maker. No one is unable to reach out to another, starting within. Each of us disciples, mentors, influence others every day.
What if we raise up an army of prayer warrior infused action taking believers willing to risk everything but the gospel for the gospel? What if we are like the four mates who lifted the roof to see their friend walk again! Imagine them sitting around him on the mat, just saying some prayers while they knew of a way to go? Will you lift the roof for the lost, the sick, the hungry, the foreigner, the cutter, the abused, the drug addicted?
It is time to rise up! Imagine we act on our prayers! Imagine a cohort of believers, compelled by the Holy Spirit to move into our community. Imagine we follow Jesus. Jesus whose resurrection gave him the authority to reign – not in force, but in love. Compelled by LOVE, Jesus and Father poured out the Holy Spirit. Shall we not lift the roof in keeping in step with the Holy Spirit?
What if boldness is to have our hearts aligned with Him?
What if boldness is to have our hearts broken for what breaks his?
What if boldness leads to action, to a disciple-making movement of believers who love as He loves, who acts like He acts and to see the lost integrated into the Kingdom of heaven? What if we abandoned an “I am safe, the rest can go to hell approach,” but actually become willing to reach into hell, by figure of speech, to help those who need to be helped?
Will you raise the roof with me?
What is your next step?